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The case last reached the Supreme Court and confronted believers in religious freedom with state and local officials who tried to protect individuals from Covid-19. Judges have already been bitterly divided on the issue.
In a late-night order on Thanksgiving, Court 5-4 ruled in favor of houses of worship and challenged New York Governor’s restrictions on the coronavirus of New York Governor, arguing that religious organizations were treated more harshly than secular businesses in violation of First amendment.
The vote of Justice Amy Coney Barrett was critical because before stepping on the bench, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the late Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg last spring and summer and three other Liberals of the court to rule against houses of worship in similar cases. out of Nevada and California.
In the case in question, the California ministry accused Newsom, a democratic democracy, of still imposing “draconian and meaningless bans” on the lives of the California people, accusing the governor of “voluntarily” ignoring the restrictions.
In California, Newsom planned a multi-level approach depending on its geographical location.
A church lawyer said that although religious worship is sometimes “strictly restricted,” there are no similar restrictions in grocery stores, large box retail stores, laundries, and warehouses.
“Differential treatment of religions compared to similar non-religious church gatherings undoubtedly places a significant burden on the practice of religion in churches and violates the First Amendment,” the lawyer said.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has rejected the church’s allegations telling judges that the restrictions also apply to museums, movie theaters and restaurants. He also noted that there is currently a new surge.
In his court records, Becerra argued that the state had “issued a limited home stay order ordering a one-month ban on non-essential work and gatherings in Level 1 counties between 10pm and 5pm.”
“We recognize that the current restrictions disrupt plaintiffs’ legitimate interest in attending indoor worship — and the state is committed to easing those restrictions as soon as public health conditions allow, as it has recently done, ”he said. “At present, however, this temporary intervention is justified by the state’s interest in limiting the spread of COVID-19 through tailor-made, evidence-based policies that are proportionate to the degree of risk posed by each activity.”
He distinguished his restrictions from those imposed by the Cuomo in New York, arguing that California had adopted a “personalized policy” with restrictions on indoor activities that were “proportionate to the public health risks associated with each activity.”