Advertisement

High court to hear pastor’s case against virus charges

Pastor Tony Spell speaks to media after holding an evening service at the Life Tabernacle...
Pastor Tony Spell speaks to media after holding an evening service at the Life Tabernacle Church in Central, La., Tuesday, March 31, 2020. Spell did so despite being charged with misdemeanors today, for holding services against Gov. John Bel Edwards shelter-in-place order due to the new coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) (Source: Gerald Herbert)(KNOE)
Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 10:09 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

(AP) - Louisiana’s Supreme Court has decided to hear arguments in a pastor’s fight against criminal charges he faces for violations of 2020 pandemic gathering limits.

Tony Spell got national attention when he began to flout the state’s public health order in March 2020 at a time when much of the country was in lockdown due to the emergence of COVID-19.

A state judge earlier this year had refused to throw out the charges against Spell, whose church is in the Baton Rouge area. An appeal court agreed.

But the state Supreme Court accepted the case for arguments Tuesday. A hearing date hasn’t been set.

Spell has long argued that Louisiana’s virus restrictions violated First Amendment guarantees of religious freedom.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.