U.S. District Judge John Broomes ruled late Saturday against Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly's decision to limit churches from holding services with more than 10 people, ABC News reports.
"Laura Kelly, in her capacity as Governor of the State of Kansas, is hereby enjoined and ordered to refrain from enforcing the prohibition in Executive Order No. 20-18 and Executive Order 20-25 prohibiting religious gatherings involving more than ten attendees ... so long as those gatherings comply with the social distancing and public health protocols Plaintiffs have indicated in their complaint they are prepared to apply," Broomes wrote in his decision.
ABC News says the Democratic governor was fighting to keep large church gatherings from meeting in opposition to the Republican-controlled legislature. The ruling will hold at least until May 2.
Broomes wrote that "churches and religious activities appear to have been singled out among essential functions for stricter treatment."
Johns Hopkins University says there have been at least 1,850 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Kansas, along with 85 deaths, mostly in Wyandotte County, which includes Kansas City, and Johnson County.