Newsom Finally Gets Religious Message

Newsom Finally Gets Religious Message

( – On Memorial Day, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said churches could begin worshipping in person again. His permission came as the South Bay Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista, CA, asked the Supreme Court to end the governor’s ban on church, synagogue, and mosque services two days earlier. However, Newsom’s guidelines may still face backlash.

The governor’s new order says places of worship must “limit attendance to 25%” of a building’s capacity or 100 people, whichever is lower. Additionally, religious organizations need approval from their county’s public health department. No other entity is being forced to seek permission from county health departments. This mandate is setting up another showdown of a potential violation of constitutional rights.

In seeking help from the Supreme Court, the church argues it has a constitutional right under the Bill of Rights to freely worship. The church says it’s being singled out when compared to businesses re-opening without the same building capacity request. The South Bay Pentecostal Church says this order violates the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.

Last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found in the governor’s favor on a 2-1 decision. From 1994 to 2015, the 9th Circuit was overturned by the Supreme Court over 80% of the time. Given the odds, it’s highly unlikely that Newsom’s order will stand.

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