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US appeals court blocks Lucas County health order that would keep religious schools closed amid pandemic

Jenson Strock, WTOL |

The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order Dec. 31st blocking the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department from enforcing its public health order which shuttered in-person learning for students in 7-12 grades as it applies to several religious schools that had sued the health department.


A week after the suit was filed, the district court denied OCEN’s motion for a temporary restraining order. Then, on Dec. 16, the district court denied their motion for a preliminary injunction, leading them to appeal with support from Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost as amicus curiae.

The court of appeals found that because secular businesses with a similar risk of spread were allowed to stay open, while plaintiff schools Monclova Christian Academy, St. John’s Jesuit High School and Academy and Emmanuel Christian School were forced to close, the schools were being denied their First Amendment rights.

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