Mo. Sen. Josh Hawley Wants Civil Rights Investigation of State Restrictions on Religious Gatherings

(Kansas City Star) Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley asked Attorney General William Barr Tuesday to launch a civil rights investigation into state restrictions of religious gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hawley, a freshman Republican and former Missouri attorney general, contended that state-level restrictions violate the First Amendment and asked for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division to the review the issue. …

Hawley argued that the issue should be revisited in the wake of demonstrations against police brutality and racial injustice in cities across the country.

“Now, after two weeks of nationwide protests, no uncertainty remains. Many jurisdictions across the nation are imposing extraordinarily strict caps on religious gatherings—such as restricting religious gatherings to 10 or fewer people—even as those jurisdictions allow thousands of people to gather closely in protests,” Hawley said. “States cannot allow one but prohibit the other.”

Read Hawley’s letter in full here. 

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