The Columbus Dispatch | Anna Staver
Ohio’s attorney general thinks religious schools in the state can’t be forced to close their doors even if a county health department bans all in-person instruction.
“This order violates the Free Exercise Clause,” Dave Yost wrote in a brief filed with the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on Monday. “That clause prohibits the government from discriminating against religion.”
The discrimination that Yost and a handful of religious schools near Toledo believe to be happening stems from a health order issued in late November by the Lucas County Regional Board of Health. It closed grades 7-12, both public and parochial, for in-person instruction until January 11 in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The problem that Yost and the four schools that sued in federal court have is that other businesses such as casinos, restaurants and gyms could all continue providing in-person service to their customers.