CV NEWS FEED // The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of religious complainants against a California COVID restriction on in-home religious gatherings.
“…California treats some comparable secular activities more favorably than at-home religious exercise,” the Friday ruling stated in part, “permitting hair salons, retail stores, personal care services, movie theaters, private suites at sporting events and concerts, and indoor restaurants to bring together more than three households at a time.”
“The State cannot ‘assume the worst when people go to worship but assume the best when people go to work.’”
Religious groups have found themselves faced with burdensome restrictions in California for some time now, with the Supreme Court ruling in favor of aggrieved religious citizens repeatedly.
“This is the fifth time the Court has summarily rejected the Ninth Circuit’s analysis of California’s COVID restrictions on religious exercise,” the Court stated Friday. Justifications for restricting religious activity require “strict scrutiny,” the Court added. “That standard ‘is not watered down’; it ‘really means what it says.'”
Chief Justice John Roberts joined the three liberal justices’ dissent against the ruling, with Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett in the majority.