Judge sides with governor in legal fight over Central pastor's coronavirus violations
BATON ROUGE - A judge has denied a local pastor's attempt to have criminal complaints filed against him tossed after he flagrantly refused to obey Louisiana's stay-at-home order during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.
On Monday, Judge Eboni Johnson-Rose in East Baton Rouge ruled that Governor Edwards rules installed to curb the spread of the virus took precedence over Pastor Tony Spell's claim that the First Amendment gave him the right to gather large groups for services despite the dangers presented by the virus.
Spell had hoped the judge would void six criminal complaints filed against him and claimed she "ruled against God" when she failed to do so.
In November, the U.S. Supreme Court said it wouldn't get involved in the cases surrounding Spell, who's repeatedly defied state orders banning large gatherings since the pandemic first took hold in Louisiana.
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