Supreme Court Blocks a California Ban on indoor Church Services

The U.S. Supreme Court handed California churches a victory Friday, granting injunctive relief to a group that had sued over coronavirus lockdown rules that banned indoor services, Fox News informed.

The churches will be allowed to hold indoor services as they await a decision on their appeal in the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is hearing their case but had denied a motion to suspend the ban during it.

The 6-3 decision came with the Court’s liberal justices in dissent.

“The Ninth Circuit’s failure to grant relief was erroneous,” the Supreme Court’s order reads. “This outcome is clearly dictated by this Court’s decision in South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom.”

The churches sued Santa Clara County earlier this month after the county continued to ban indoor services despite an earlier Supreme Court ruling that Gov. Gavin Newsom’s complete ban violated the First Amendment, according to the Bay Area’s Mercury News.

The county argued that its ban was allowed because it did not single out religious gatherings.

But the Supreme Court’s order will prevent the county from enforcing the ban until the 9th Circuit case concludes.

The court’s brief statement said the dissenting liberal justices disagreed with the majority for the same reasons they laid out in the United Pentecostal case.

“Justices of this court are not scientists,” Kagan wrote in dissent earlier this month. “Nor do we know much about public health policy. Yet today the court displaces the judgments of experts about how to respond to a raging pandemic. The court orders California to weaken its restrictions on public gatherings by making a special exception for worship services.”

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