California’s Restrictions on In-home Religious Gatherings: "BLOCKED", By The SUPREME COURT
The Supreme Court ruled against California, blocking the restrictions ban on in-home Bible studies and other religious gatherings.
A 5–4 ruling was in favor of a group of Santa Clara residents who asserted the restrictions violated the First and Fourteenth Amendment.
The ruling is the fifth time the nation’s highest court has overruled the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on California COVID-19 fueled restrictions, including a February ruling that saw the court grant a worshipper’s application asking for restrictions on in-person religious services be rolled back.
“It is not surprising litigants are entitled to relief. Ca. Blueprint System contains accommodations for comparable activities, thus requiring the application of strict scrutiny,” the majority wrote on Friday.
Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett made up the majority
Chief Justice John Roberts, another Republican-nominated justice, joined the court’s liberal wing in dissenting, though he did not sign on to the dissenting opinion authored by Justice Elena Kagan.
Kagan said she would have rejected the application for relief because she felt the state complied with the First Amendment in its limiting religious gatherings in homes to three households since the state had the same restrictions on secular gatherings in homes.
“It has adopted a blanket restriction on at-home gatherings of all kinds, religious and secular alike. California need not, as the per curiam insists, treat at-home religious gatherings the same as hardware stores and hair salons—and thus unlike at-home secular gatherings, the obvious comparator here,” she wrote.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs and defense did not immediately respond to requests for comment.