Apr 19, 2020 - Health

Judge blocks Kansas coronavirus order limiting religious gatherings

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly. Photo: Mark Reinstein/Corbis via Getty Images

A federal judge issued an order Saturday blocking a Kansas measure that limited attendance at in-person religious worship gatherings to 10 people or fewer during the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: Many churches have moved to online services, but some are pushing back against orders preventing them from holding in-person gatherings. The Alliance Defending Freedom group, which represented two Baptist churches in the case, has filed several lawsuits challenging such orders in the U.S.

Zoom in: U.S. District Judge John Broomes' temporary Kansas order will remain in effect until May 2 and a hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

What they're saying: Per AP, Gov. Laura Kelly (D) said in a statement of her executive order, "This is not about religion. This is about a public health crisis."

The big picture: The DOJ announced earlier this month it would take action against local authorities that have cracked down on religious services as part of restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Go deeper: God and COVID-19

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U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

About 40.7 million Americans have filed for unemployment since the coronavirus pandemic began, including 2.1 million more claims filed from last week.

Why it matters: Even as states reopen their economies, Americans are still seeking relief. Revised data out Thursday also showed U.S. economy shrunk by an annualized 5% in the first quarter — worse than the initially estimate of 4.8%.

Mark Zuckerberg: Social networks should not be "the arbiter of truth"

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg argued on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Thursday that social media platforms should not police political speech, and that "people should be able to see what politicians say.”

Why it matters: Zuckerberg was responding to Twitter's decision this week to fact-check a pair of President Trump's tweets that claimed that mail-in ballots are "substantially fraudulent." Twitter's label, which directs users to "get the facts" about mail-in voting, does not censor Trump's tweets.

House Democrats pull FISA reauthorization bill

Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

House Democrats pulled legislation Thursday that would have renewed expired domestic surveillance laws and strengthened transparency and privacy protections amid broad opposition from President Trump, House GOP leadership and progressive Democrats.

Why it matters: The failure to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) comes as Trump continues to attack the intelligence community, which he claims abused the law to surveil his 2016 campaign and Trump administration officials.