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MONCLOVA CHRISTIAN ACADEMY; ST. JOHN’S JESUIT HIGH SCHOOL & ACADEMY; EMMANUEL CHRISTIAN SCHOOL; CITIZENS FOR COMMUNITY VALUES dba Ohio Christian Education Network,
Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
TOLEDO-LUCAS COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT,
Defendant-Appellee.
   No. 20-4300
On Motion for Preliminary Injunction Pending Appeal.
United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio at Toledo;
No. 3:20-cv-02720—Jeffrey James Helmick, District Judge.
Decided and Filed: December 31, 2020
Before: KETHLEDGE, BUSH, and NALBANDIAN, Circuit Judges.


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ORDER
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On November 25, 2020, the defendant in this case, the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, issued a resolution closing every school in the county—public, private, and more to the point here, parochial—for grades 7-12, effective December 4. The shutdown’s purpose was to slow the spread of COVID-19. Yet—in the same county—gyms, tanning salons, office buildings, and a large casino have remained open. The plaintiffs here are nine Christian schools (three suing in their own names, another six as part of a coalition) who argue that the closure of their schools, when measured against the more favorable treatment afforded these secular actors, amounts to a prohibition of religious exercise in violation of the First Amendment. The district court denied the plaintiffs’ motion to enjoin the resolution as applied to their schools, reasoning that it was a neutral law of general application, as defined by the Supreme Court’s precedents. We respectfully disagree with that determination and grant the plaintiffs’ motion for an injunction pending appeal.