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CA churches free to meet indoors after US Supreme Court order on COVID-19 restrictions

United States Supreme Court Building

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel and Vice President of U.S. Litigation David Cortman regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom and order in Harvest Rock Church v. Newsom that halt California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s COVID-19 restrictions preventing churches and other religious congregations from meeting indoors as other groups are permitted to do. The decision and order also allow churches to present new evidence in district court that the governor’s 25% capacity limitation and other restrictions are not being applied at least equally with other activities:

“The Supreme Court’s decision is a significant win for ensuring that government officials do not exceed their authority by bypassing the First Amendment when implementing coronavirus restrictions. Churches in the state may once again meet indoors, and the justices indicated that the other restrictions to which religious gatherings are wrongly subjected may face significant legal and constitutional hurdles going forward. Gov. Newsom has a duty to respect the First Amendment, so he can’t single out church worship services and other religious meetings for the draconian COVID-19 restrictions that many secular activities haven’t faced in California. The Supreme Court is reinforcing what it has affirmed in previous orders: Disparate treatment is both illogical and unconstitutional.”

ADF attorneys recently won their own case, Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley v. Sisolak, at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit challenging Nevada’s unconstitutional COVID-19 restrictions on churches and other religious congregations.


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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