Attorney Harmeet Dhillon of the Center for American Liberty told "Tucker Carlson Tonight" guest host Brian Kilmeade Friday that "blue state governo
Attorney Harmeet Dhillon of the Center for American Liberty told “Tucker Carlson Tonight” guest host Brian Kilmeade Friday that “blue state governors” will diminish efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus if their decisions about what gatherings to allow or condone are not proportional.
Dhillon appeared hours after a New York federal judge found that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Attorney General Letitia James, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio “exceeded” their executive limits by limiting worship services while condoning mass protests.
“I’ve sued the governors of Virginia, of New Jersey, of California and Hawaii on similar issues. And unfortunately, it’s been hard to get judges to see it the right way,” Dhillon said on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” “But I guess the hypocrisy had reached the level of outrage in New York that this judge saw it correctly. And kudos to him for finally recognizing what many judges before him should have recognized.”
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U.S. District Judge Gary L. Sharpe issued a preliminary injuction prohibiting state officials from enforcing limits on the number of people attending outdoor religious gatherings, provided social distancing guidelines are being followed. The injunction also states that officials cannot enforce limits on indoor gatherings that are greater than restrictions placed on companies in Phase 2 of New York’s reopening plan, also provided social distancing guidelines are being followed.
“The fact that you can go to the marijuana store and the alcohol store and many other kinds of stores from day one, because those stores have good lobbyists and connections with the governor, and you could not go to church and you could not do so many other activities, [like] get married, go to a funeral — these are life and death activities for many Americans,” Dhillon said.
“And governors just trash those civil rights with no consideration other than [politics] and I think it has turned out to be politically expedient for many of these governors to hype up this drama over COVID, which is a serious illness but frankly, they’re not taking seriously when it comes to protests that they like.”
Coronavirus restrictions in New York had previously limited indoor religious gatherings to 25 percent capacity while non-secular gatherings are limited to 50 percent.
Two Roman Catholic priests from upstate New York and three Orthodox Jewish congregants from Brooklyn argued that the restrictions violated their First Amendment rights to freely practice their religion.
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Dhillon criticized Democratic leaders for their soft stance on recent protests.
“It is politically expedient for governors to shut down everything and make people dependent on the government. That’s blue state governors,” Dhillon said. “But where they got tripped up is that they treated COVID like a switch they can turn on and off. They turned it off for Black Lives Matter protests.
“And what they’re doing is endangering lives, Brian, because if citizens don’t take the warnings of health officials seriously and if they’re not proportional, then they will not take them seriously. It’ll be the ‘Boy who cried wolf’ problem.”
Fox News’ Caleb Parke and The Associated Press contributed to this report.