New Jersey's 23rd Legislative District

Senator Michael Doherty

Senator Mike Doherty

Doherty: Murphy Continues to Trample the Constitution by Outlawing Religious Services

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Senator Michael Doherty said Governor Phil Murphy should lift restrictions on religious services that led to a New Jersey church being cited for violations of his executive order prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people.

Sen. Mike Doherty said Gov. Phil Murphy is trampling the Constitution and should lift restrictions on religious services that led to a New Jersey church being cited for violations of his executive order prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people. (National Archives)

“Governor Murphy keeps saying he’s guided by science in his decision making, but why is 10 the magic number for the amount of people who can gather safely in churches, temples, mosques, or synagogues?” Doherty (R-23) asked. “If so-called ‘essential retail’ stores can operate safely at half of their stated capacity, why can’t houses of worship be trusted to operate with similar precautions? Governor Murphy needs to stop eviscerating the Constitution and allow houses of worship to operate like other essential services.”

At a briefing with the governor yesterday, the superintendent of the New Jersey State Police said a church in Clementon was cited for holding services inside a church with more than 10 people.

“People have a constitutional right to practice religion and that right should not be impeded through overly restrictive executive orders,” added Doherty. “It’s ridiculous that the governor’s orders allow New Jerseyans to buy lumber or a tennis racket at a big box store, but prohibit the exercise of constitutionally protected religious freedoms. It’s increasingly clear that legislative oversight is necessary to limit abuses of executive power.”

More than 3,000 people have signed an online petition run by Senator Doherty calling for the governor to allow religious services to resume in New Jersey with reasonable precautions.

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