In a ridiculous 5-4 decision released Wednesday, the Unitedla States Supreme Court ruled that Governor Cuomo’s limits on the number of people who may congregate in houses of worship are unconstitutional. The deciding vote was that of Trump’s appointee Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

Just a few months ago, the same Court ruled that limits on the number of people in religious gatherings were appropriate because of the pandemic.

The death of Justice Ginsberg and her replacement by Justice Barrett means the right to practice religion is more important than public health. All three of Trump’s choices—Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett—are religious extremists. Their votes, plus those of Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, made this lethal decision possible.

Justice Gorsuch said it was unfair to allow hardware stores and ice cream shops to open while limiting religious services. But how many hardware stores or ice cream shops have hundreds of customers at the same time, congregating for hours, and singing?

Those who worship in a sanctuary with dozens or hundreds of others, singing, praying, chanting, breathing in each other’s exhalations—will go out into their communities and spread disease.

This is a terrible decision that will contribute to the pandemic. People will die because of it. We can anticipate more extremist decisions in which religious beliefs take precedence over other constitutionally protected rights as well as public health.

Even worse decisions lie ahead, in which religious beliefs will distort the law.