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US Supreme Court denies interim relief to South Bay United Pentecostal Church

Westerners Plagued by Occasional References to Scripture

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel and Director of the ADF Center for Christian Ministries Ryan Tucker regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Friday to deny interim relief in South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom:

“The Supreme Court’s opinion is procedural in nature, narrow in scope. The court simply chose not to grant temporary relief on an emergency motion. Religious freedom means more than treating churches like secular businesses. The church in this case—and, indeed, the vast majority of churches—agreed to abide by the same social distancing and hygiene standards set for others. The church simply asked to be treated the same as comparable secular businesses, which is the bare minimum that the First Amendment’s free exercise clause requires. The court’s opinion is not the final word on the issue. We fully expect other cases where our fundamental freedoms are at stake to make their way back to the Supreme Court on a more fully developed record.

“We support government leaders’ efforts to prioritize the public’s health and safety, but people of faith should be free to assemble as others are. In addition to California, many states are implementing rules that are inconsistent and burdensome to religious groups. If people can be trusted to comply with social distancing and other health guidelines at offices, restaurants, and factories, there is no reason they cannot be trusted in religious settings.”


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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