Federal appeals court Judge David Stras had pointed words last year for his colleagues in a dissent to a ruling against St. Louis church members who sued over a county public health order that restricted the size of gatherings.

“The court has a funny way of safeguarding ‘important constitutional value[s].’ After letting this case sit for over a year, it locks and deadbolts the courthouse door for a group of plaintiffs trying to challenge a stay-at-home order that specifically targeted ‘religious services and other spiritual practices,’” Stras, a Trump appointee on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, wrote.

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