U.S. Supreme Court Rules Against Gov. Newsom’s Indoor Worship Bans

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The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Thursday against California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) restrictions on indoor worship services, agreeing with religious groups they are unconstitutional.

The High Court granted a petition from Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena that sought to overturn a lower court’s ruling in favor of Newsom’s restrictions.

The ruling cited the Supreme Court’s decision last week in a similar case in which it ruled in favor of faith groups that challenged New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) worship restrictions.

Liberty Counsel, which represented Harvest Rock Church, noted that Newsom’s restrictions are “more severe than those in New York.”

“Governor Gavin Newsom’s orders ban ALL in-person worship for 99.1 percent of Californians,” the nonprofit litigation firm stated, adding that while Newsom has banned the majority of in-person religious services, “warehouses, big box centers, shopping malls, liquors stores, family entertainment and destination centers, gyms, fitness centers, and museums receive preferential treatment with either no capacity limits or no numerical limits.”

The law firm said Newsom’s pandemic “Blueprint,” released in August with a system of four tiers, “discriminates against religious meetings in churches and places of worship in every Tier.”

“Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court provides great relief for churches and places of worship,” said Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel chairman. “The handwriting is now on the wall. The final days of Governor Gavin Newsom’s ‘color-coded executive edicts’ banning worship are numbered and coming to an end. It is past time to end these unconstitutional restrictions on places of worship.”

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