Home Christian News High Court to Hear Pastor’s Case Against Virus Charges

High Court to Hear Pastor’s Case Against Virus Charges

Tony Spell
FILE - Tony Spell, pastor of the Life Tabernacle Church of Central City, La., greets supporters outside the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, Monday, June 7, 2021. Louisiana’s Supreme Court announced Tuesday, Dec. 7 that it will hear arguments in the pastor’s fight against criminal charges he faces for violations of pandemic gathering limits that were in effect last year. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana’s Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it will hear arguments in a pastor’s fight against criminal charges he faces for violations of pandemic gathering limits that were in effect last year.

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. Louisiana was being hit especially hard at the time, but hundreds showed up to hear Spell claim that the virus, which has now killed more than 780,000 Americans, is nothing to be concerned about.

RELATED: Tony Spell: Church Will Comply With Orders When ‘they sell popsicles in hell’

A state judge earlier this year had refused to throw out the charges against Spell, whose Life Tabernacle 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.

Gov. John Bel Edwards in March 2020 had issued a public health ban on gatherings of more than 50 people to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Spell has long argued that Edwards’ virus restrictions violated First Amendment guarantees of religious freedom. While fighting the criminal charges, Spell is also seeking damages over the restrictions in federal court.

RELATED: Canadian Pastor Arthur Pawlowski Receives Surprising New Ruling in COVID-19 Restrictions Case

This article originally appeared here.

Previous articleNew Podcast ‘Hark!’ Explores the Stories Behind the Most Beloved Christmas Carols
Next articleWhat’s the Big Deal About ‘Mary, Did You Know’?
The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting. Founded in 1846, AP today remains the most trusted source of fast, accurate, unbiased news in all formats and the essential provider of the technology and services vital to the news business.