CBS Minnesota | May 18, 2020
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minnesota law firm announced Monday that it plans to file a lawsuit to suspend the enforcement of the continued shutdown of religious services, arguing that the criteria allowing malls to reopen this week should be applied the same way to churches.
The Upper Midwest Law Center, a conservative public interest law firm, says it’s filing a motion in U.S. District Court for a temporary restraining order to suspend enforcement of the order that bars services in churches, mosques and other places of worship.
Doug Seaton, the president of Upper Midwest Law Center, said in a statement that Minnesota’s current stay-safe order violates the First Amendment rights of religious organizations by treating them like “second class citizens.”
“It is clearly unconstitutional for the governor to allow people to go to the Mall of America but not Living Word Christian Center,” he said.
At midnight, Minnesota’s stay-at-home order expired and its stay-safe order began. Under the new order from Gov. Tim Walz, retail shops and malls can open but must operate at 50% capacity.
Additionally, people are allowed to gather in groups of 10 or less. While worship services are allowed under these guidelines, they are only allowed if fewer than 11 people are in a place of worship at a given time.