In 6-3 ruling, Supreme Court strikes down California ban on indoor worship services

The Supreme Court handed down a victory for advocates of religious freedom this week.

The Sacramento Bee reports that the nation’s highest court ruled 6–3 Friday in favor of a pair of California churches that had contested mandates issued by the state’s Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom, in light of COVID-19.

According to the Bee, “The court’s majority said Newsom’s order violated the Constitution’s protection of the free exercise of religion.” Justices Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, and Stephen Breyer dissented.

A partial victory

At issue were two cases concerning the South Bay United Pentecostal Church, which is based near San Diego, and Harvest Rock Church, based in Pasadena, respectively. In the Friday ruling, the Supreme Court said Newsom and the Golden State can’t prohibit the churches or other houses of worship from holding in-person services, the Associated Press reported.

Instead, the state can only “cap indoor services at 25% of a building’s capacity,” the AP said. But it wasn’t a total victory for the churches.

According to the AP, singing and chanting in church will still be prohibited, per an order issued by Newsom last summer. “California had put the restrictions in place because the virus is more easily transmitted indoors and singing releases tiny droplets that can carry the [coronavirus] disease,” the AP said.

“Obviously targets religion”

Of course, if it were solely up to Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch, then the churches would have gotten the full relief they sought.

According to Breitbart, Gorsuch wrote for them both: “Apparently, California is the only State in the country that has gone so far as to ban all indoor religious services. When a State so obviously targets religion for differential treatment, our job becomes that much clearer.”

Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett largely agreed with Gorsuch and Thomas, but they argued that South Bay United Pentecostal Church had failed to demonstrate that California’s coronavirus-related restrictions were unnecessary from a public health standpoint, Breitbart reported.

A step in the right direction

Chief Justice John Roberts, on the other hand, wanted to deny all relief to churches because the “federal courts owe significant deference to politically accountable officials with the background, competence, and expertise to assess public health.”

Instead, he granted partial relief, saying that California’s restriction on churches “appears to reflect not expertise or discretion, but instead insufficient appreciation or consideration of the interests at stake,” according to Breitbart.

While only a partial victory, Friday’s Supreme Court decision was certainly a step in the right direction.

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8 Responses

  1. If you can talk why can’t you sing? I’m sure everyone will have masks on so what’s the difference???? Just something else the government is taking control over. Songs in church is what preaches to my sole. I say ‘Stay out of my religion”.

    1. people who run for office need to grow up, Hillary can’t lose she is still sucking on a baby bottle & diapers, she thought she was guaranteed a win she though all the people she cheated, of rights, benefits, & money were going to vote for her, then she criticized the White people like Nancy Pelosi Oprah Winfrey who said all white people need to die!!! how sad it comes to discrimination against White people for decades, When does some one take action against discrimination agsint White people on & off the job. this is putrid That people can talk agsint Whit people & it is not racism, but say something about African Americans & it is Racism !!! -Give them a baby bottle . there should be a white parade for whit epoeple only , like there is Bud Billiken parade for blacks, A white college like there is a black college, & all white magazine like there is a n all Black magazine , but do you see Whit people causing fights about it, acting like morons ? no you don’t some jerk like Obama starts a terrorist organization called Black lives matter the news KKK, because he specializes in gangs after all he used to be a black panther, so he is pretty knowleged on how to fuel terrorism, shame on him his mother is probably turning 50 time a day in her grave of cremation on his spiteful misconduct so is the step father who paid for everything for him to live the good life until he died as he watches over him betray the USA over & over. Scandalous he needs to be impeached indicted, & punished for all his crimes he committed. how does he face himself when he looks in the mirror!!!!

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  3. Americans are definitely not stupid & Roberts isn’t fulfilling his party’s wishes. This guy has become a “stranger” to the people that put him in his position & I don’t think Robert’s fears God anymore. Someone needs to yank his chain to bring him back from Democratic “LaLa” land. The “TRUE HIGH COURT” will judge him also.

  4. I go to a Lutheran Church and we have had services for many months with wearing a mask and social distancing with no problems. Every other pew is blocked off and we sit 6 ft apart. Here in Missouri we have a good Governor.

  5. I am very glad that the courts handed down their rulings of 6 to 3 for our religious freedoms. California’s governor did not have any kind of right to do what he did to the people of California.

  6. THIS IS AMERICA AND AS FAR AS I SEE IT MY RIGHT IS BEING DENIEDALL THE CHURCHES SHOULD SING AS HIGH AS THEY WANT THESE LAWS ARE BS. THEN HOLD SERVICES OUTDOORS AND DON’T LET ANYBODY STOP YOU FROM SINING THIS IS AMERICA STILL NOT RUSSIA.

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