Cleric lawsuits seek to limit governor’s emergency powers

DOVER, Del. (AP) — Two Delaware pastors are seeking a court order prohibiting Democratic Gov. John Carney and his successors from exercising emergency powers that would restrict religious gatherings and practices.

Twin lawsuits filed Wednesday also seek a declaration that Carney’s previous COVID-19 restrictions on religious practices were unconstitutional.

The lawsuits aim to prevent any prohibitions on in-person religious worship or rituals, including restrictions on preaching, singing, or attendance based on age or health.

The complaints were filed a little more than a year after the settlement of a federal lawsuit in which another pastor had challenged Carney’s coronavirus restrictions as unconstitutional.

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