NEW ORLEANS (Aug. 18)
A spokesman for the minority group in Congregation Chevra Thilim, which won a district court injunction against mixed seating, said today that the Louisiana Supreme Court rejection of an appeal meant that there would be no mixed seating for the coming High Holy Day services.
The preliminary injunction was issued on July 29 in civil district court by Judge Frank T. Stitch, following a lengthy hearing in which a number of outstanding rabbinical authorities testified for the plaintiff group.
The Supreme Court turned down a request by the majority group for a suspensive writ which would have suspended the injunction pending further proceedings.
It was explained that no further court action could be taken by the officers of the congregation, who were barred by the injunction from instituting any family seating plan, until Judge Stitch’s court was reconvened after the summer vacation.
If Judge Stitch issues a permanent injunction, the proceedings would be subject to review by the state supreme court, a process which could involve several months.
Judge Stich’s ruling was hailed by the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America and the Rabbinical Council of America, rabbinic arm of the association of orthodox congregations, in a statement in New York.
The statement called the injunction ruling “a major advance toward the safeguarding of basic religious rights. “