LAWRENCE, Kan. — The Kansas Supreme Court on Saturday struck down a Republican-led effort to allow the continuation of in-person church services across the state despite the governor’s ban on such gatherings to prevent the spread of coronavirus — what has been called the “War over Easter” here — as the virus-related death toll continued to rise.Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, recently expanded a state stay-at-home order to limit church events to 10 people after state public health officials traced coronavirus outbreaks, and three deaths, to four religious gatherings. Kansas has recorded 1,268 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and 55 deaths related to the virus, according to the state’s Department of Health and Environment.Republican lawmakers on the state’s legislative council revoked Kelly’s order on Wednesday — effectively allowing churches to hold regular services on Easter — saying that the order infringed on religious liberty. Kelly then took the matter to court, calling the Republican action “shockingly irresponsible.”The court ruled Saturday night that a small Republican-led legislative council that rescinded Kelly’s order did not have the authority to do so. They had heard arguments Saturday in a historic online session, during which lawyers argued their points before the judges via Zoom


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