In a statement released on Tuesday, the Alabama Attorney General’s Office advised against enforcing the current state health order against churches.
The statement, made to WBRC, came in reference to multiple sheriffs announcing that they have instructed their departments not to enforce the State of Alabama’s current “Safer-At-Home” order against businesses and places of worship.
As reported by Yellowhammer News, Baldwin County Sheriff Huey “Hoss” Mack on Tuesday morning became the latest law enforcement official to do just that, following his counterparts in Blount County and Lamar County.
A spokesperson for Attorney General Steve Marshall’s Office said the following about local law enforcement officers exercising discretion in enforcing the Safer-At-Home order:
Sheriffs and police chiefs throughout Alabama have endeavored to work alongside their citizens to protect public health without being heavy-handed and that should continue until the order is lifted. Health risks vary widely in every situation and local officials are best suited to make decisions about enforcement from the front lines. The Attorney General agrees that enforcement of the order against churches would be ill-advised. He has been assured that the State Health Order will soon be amended to better accommodate the free exercise of religion.
The current state health order related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was announced by Governor Kay Ivey last week; the order went into effect on April 30 at 5:00 p.m. and expires on May 15 at 5:00 p.m.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn