Supreme Court Upholds California’s Indoor Church Services

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MAY 31: People attend a service in a chapel at the International Church of Las Vegas on May 31, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The services were held in-person for the first time since March 15th because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Places of worship and …
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The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday ordered a California county to let five churches hold indoor services, adding to a line of orders that have curbed the power of government officials as they battle the spread of the coronavirus.

The latest High Court action follows a February 6 order that let indoor worship services resume in most of California at 25 percent capacity.

The court’s one-paragraph injunction said the outcome “outcome is clearly dictated by this Court’s decision in South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom.” The injunction will stay in play while the churches’ appeal is ongoing, including any attempted appeal to the Supreme Court for full review of the case. The three liberal justices — Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor — dissented.

The Supreme Court acted even though the county said in a February 25 letter that it was planning to ease the restrictions next week as long as Covid rates continue to decline.

The case is Gateway City Church v. Newsom, 20A138 in the Supreme Court of the United States.

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