From NYTimes by Andy Newman:
Updated, 2:27 p.m. | Churches that are fighting to continue to hold worship services in city public schools won a 10-day reprieve on Thursday when a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order against the city’s ban.
The church case appeared dead after the United States Supreme Courtrefused in December to hear it. But in papers filed this month, the plaintiff in the case, the Bronx Household of Faith, took a different legal tack. And the judge, Loretta A. Preska of Federal District Court in Manhattan, held thatbecause the church had demonstrated “a likelihood of success” on the merits of the new claim, the order was warranted. (See second document below.)
Judge Preska, the district court’s chief judge, had ruled in favor of the churches before, only to have her decision overturned by an appellate panel.
The church’s original and unsuccessful claim held that the ban violated its free-speech rights under the First Amendment.
The new papers (see first document below) argue that the ban violated the amendment’s free exercise clause, which broadly forbids government to interfere in religious activities.