NewsCovering Louisiana


Judge denies restraining order request from Central pastor

tony spell.PNG
Posted at 8:25 PM, May 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-15 21:25:38-04

A federal judge has denied Rev. Tony Spell’s request for a restraining order and preliminary injunction against Gov. John Bel Edwards’ Stay at Home Order.

According to a release from the governor's office, U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson of the Middle District of Louisiana denied Spell’s motion for a Temporary Restraining Order against the governor's Stay at Home order.

Spell, the pastor of Life Tabernacle Church in Central, filed a lawsuit on May 8 against state and local officials.

The suit was filed at the U.S. District Court in Baton Rouge and accuses Edwards, Central Mayor David Barrow, Sheriff Sid Gautreaux, and others of threats and harassment.

Edwards’ Executive Counsel Matthew Block issued the following statement:

Judge Jackson’s ruling supports what we have long said – that the Governor’s Stay at Home order was lawful, necessary and issued under the most dire of circumstances, with Louisiana facing widespread illness and loss of life from the dangerous spread of COVID-19. As both a lawyer and a man of strong faith, Governor Edwards carefully issued his Stay at Home order to put in reasonable mitigation measures that allowed for worship while still protecting the public’s health. He undertook this order as a last resort to protect the lives of the people of Louisiana. Further, Judge Jackson recognized that the Governor’s order to move the state to Phase 1 of the recovery from this pandemic allows for even greater opportunities for churches all across this state to connect with their communities.

You can read the judge's full order here.

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