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ADF to 9th Circuit: Strike down NV governor’s rule treating churches worse than casinos

ADF attorneys available to media following oral arguments Tuesday

Published On: 12/7/2020

Related Case: Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley v. Sisolak


WHO: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys

WHAT: Available for media interviews following oral arguments in Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley v. Sisolak

WHEN: Tuesday, Dec. 8, immediately following the hearing, which begins at 11 a.m. PST

WHERE: Oral argument can be heard via livestream (once posted, look for “San Francisco Courtroom 3 11:00 AM Tuesday 12/8”; to schedule an interview, contact ADF Media Relations Specialist Alice Chao at (202) 734-8987 or submit a request online


SAN FRANCISCO – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys will be available for media interviews immediately following oral arguments Tuesday before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in a lawsuit against Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak that challenges his administration’s coronavirus restrictions that treat churches more harshly than other venues, such as casinos.

For months, Sisolak allowed casinos to operate at 50% capacity while capping churches at 50 people. That meant a casino with capacity for 2,000 could host 1,000 gamblers, while a church with the same capacity could welcome only 50 worshipers. A later order increased the cap but continued the unequal treatment by allowing casinos and other secular establishments to operate at 50% capacity with no cap. And the governor’s most recent order restored the 50-worshipper cap.

“Times of crisis do not render the vital protections of the Constitution invalid,” said ADF Senior Counsel and Vice President of U.S. Litigation David Cortman, who will argue before the court on behalf of the church. “The government has a duty to respect the First Amendment, so it can’t single out churches for harsher treatment than casinos. That’s both illogical and unconstitutional.”

As ADF attorneys argued in their most recent brief filed with the 9th Circuit, “Restricting religious gatherings for more than five months, with no end in sight, is not a rapidly changing, temporary measure that deserves substantial deference. It is government overreach in clear violation of constitutional principles.”

Jason D. Guinasso, one of more than 3,400 attorneys allied with ADF, is serving as local counsel for the church.

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.


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