Skip to main content
You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.
A moot point

A moot point

  • Updated
  • 0

Tony Spell, a Baton Rouge area preacher who was arrested several times for violating the state’s coronavirus restrictions last year by having congregants assemble at his Life Tabernacle Church, was in New Orleans this week outside federal court where his attorneys sought to revive a challenge to the restrictions.

Spell’s suit was thrown out by a federal judge late last year; the preacher hopes the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will give it new life.

The appeals court should decline.

There will surely be endless debate over the response to the coronavirus pandemic, what action was taken by whom, who had authority and who did not, what worked and what didn’t, and — astoundingly — whether the health crisis was a hoax.

It may well be determined after exhaustive debate that there are better ways to meet the challenges of a global pandemic. However, few people argue that a governor lacks the authority to establish restrictive orders in pursuit of public safety.

Virtually every institution coast to coast saw their routines disrupted. Most churches adapted as best they could with alternatives to seating congregants shoulder-to-shoulder in pews. By continuing congregational services, Spell not only violated the state’s mandate, he created an environment in which hundreds of people could have easily contracted virus that causes the debilitating respiratory ailment that has killed 600,000 Americans.

Dismissal of the case was the proper disposition. The appeals court should decline to re-examine the matter.


Concerned about COVID-19?

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

The United States Congress will award the Congressional Gold Medal to law enforcement agencies that protected the capitol during the Jan. 6 riot.

  • Updated

Slowly but surely our corner of the world seems to be getting back to normal. Events that haven’t taken place in months are being held, people…

  • Updated

A report of gun violence that aired on CBS’s 60 Minutes Sunday included an interview with a man who said his child wanted him to pack a milita…

  • Updated

Today in Nashville, more than 16,000 delegates of the Southern Baptist Convention will gather in a two-day event to discuss issues facing the …

  • Updated

It would be easy to understand if organizers of a Juneteenth parade scheduled in Dothan on June 19 are dissatisfied with a Dothan City Commiss…

  • Updated

Politics in Alabama have long given voters short-shrift. Candidates who presumably have little to offer build their campaigns on hot-button is…

  • Updated

The machinations of government often make little sense to the casual observer, and one has to wonder if they always make sense to the elected …

  • Updated

Surely there has been much concerned discussion among parents of school-age children and education professionals about the potentially detrime…

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


Breaking News

News Alert