Federal judge to decide if state violated Legacy Church’s First Amendment rights

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A federal court judge is deciding whether the governor violated an Albuquerque mega church’s First Amendment rights.

Head Pastor Steve Smothermon of Legacy Church claims in order to live stream Easter Sunday service, they needed more than five people inside the church. Under the governor’s order, only five people are allowed to gather at one time.

Churches were exempt from the order however, the governor added them to the state order the evening before Easter. Sothermon says they couldn’t pull off a service with only a few people physically at the church.

Thursday in court, he asked a judge to step in to allow churches to operate under the same rules as retail stores. The judge is expected to further discuss the issue in court on Friday.

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