Senators John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer this week helped introduce a resolution with Senator Rick Scott to support Americans’ free exercise of religion. The resolution recognizes the inconsistent manner in which some state and local governments have enforced COVID-19 restrictions against places of worship, in comparison to other gatherings, and stresses the Senate’s commitment to the rights, liberties and protections outlined in the Constitution.
“The free exercise of religion is central to our nation and our Constitution,” said Hoeven. “Preventing the spread of COVID-19 is an important priority. However, the policies put in place have not been enforced consistently by certain states and localities with religious gatherings receiving the most stringent of responses while other gatherings have been permitted or faced fewer restrictions. Our resolution makes clear that this does not align with our founding principles and seeks to recommit the Senate to protecting this essential right.”
Citing recent Supreme Court rulings upholding religious freedom in light of COVID restrictions, the resolution:
- Affirms the Senate’s support for the religious rights, liberties, and protections enshrined in the Constitution; and
- Commits the Senate to vigorously defending the right of all people of the United States to engage in the free exercise of religion.
In addition to Hoeven, Cramer and Scott, the resolution is cosponsored by Senators Marsha Blackburn, John Boozman, Mike Braun, Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz, Cindy Hyde-Smith, James Lankford, Kelly Loeffler, David Perdue, Mike Rounds, Marco Rubio, Thom Tillis and Roger Wicker