In a late-night order on Thanksgiving eve, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to block New York’s restrictions on religious worship services in “red zones” where COVID-19 infection rates are exceptionally high.

The practical effect of the decision is nil—there are currently no “red zones” in effect—and the decision is both non-final (it is only imposing an injunction on the rules while the case against them proceeds) and quite narrow.

However, it will surely be read as a blank check for religious organizations to flout all manner of public regulations—as the same ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities that were affected by this rule have done in recent days at illicit weddings and other gatherings, endangering thousands upon thousands of lives.