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Jewish leaders sue over Andrew Cuomo's 'blatantly anti-Semitic' coronavirus orders

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 10/15/2020 Carly Ortiz-Lytle
Andrew Cuomo wearing a suit and tie © Provided by Washington Examiner

Jewish leaders filed a lawsuit claiming New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is violating their rights under the First and 14th Amendments over with his lockdowns of certain areas in the state.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court on Wednesday, the Jewish congregations, all located in Rockland County, New York, said that Cuomo’s orders were “blatantly anti-Semitic religious-observance based color coded 'hot-spot' zones directed towards particular Jewish communities.”

New York’s color-coded system designates areas as “red,” “orange,” and “yellow.” Schools and “nonessential” businesses are closed in red zones. Restaurants aren’t permitted to offer indoor or outdoor dining, and houses of worship are limited to 25% of capacity and a maximum of 10 worshipers, regardless of the capacity of the building.

Areas designated as “red zones” overlap with areas that have a high Jewish population, including Brooklyn and Rockland County. In an interview, Cuomo said the rising coronavirus infections were in an “ultraorthodox” Jewish cluster.

“The cluster is a predominantly ultraorthodox cluster. The Catholic schools are closed because they happen to be in that cluster, but the issue is with that ultraorthodox community,” the governor told CNN.

The plaintiffs said Cuomo’s order “specifically singles out the Orthodox Jewish community in what has proven to be the latest extension of Governor Cuomo’s streak of anti-Semitic discrimination.”

Josh Blackman, a professor at the South Texas College of Law, said Cuomo’s comments “played on old, deeply rooted, and painful anti-Semitic trope: that Jews spread diseases.”

Blackman compared Cuomo’s “red-lining” to the Nazi strategy of posting quarantine signs on the boundaries of Jewish ghettos during the Holocaust.

“Drawing borders around Jewish communities harkens back to a very evil practice during the Third Reich,” he wrote.

The lawsuit also claimed that Cuomo’s order “flies directly in the face of scientific evidence.”

Cuomo said in a call with rabbis that the order was not being “written by a scalpel" and “being cut by a hatchet” and was “not the best way to do it.”

According to Statista, New York has had nearly twice as many COVID-19-related deaths as any other state. The death total as of Thursday afternoon stood at 33,294.

Tags: New York, Coronavirus, Jews, Andrew Cuomo, News

Original Author: Carly Ortiz-Lytle

Original Location: Jewish leaders sue over Andrew Cuomo's 'blatantly anti-Semitic' coronavirus orders

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