Supreme Court Sides With California Church Over COVID Restrictions

( The United States Supreme Court made another bombshell ruling this week, once again siding with religious institutions against excessive lockdown measures put in place by Democrat politicians.

This time, the highest court in the land sided with a church in California affected by Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom’s rules on indoor worship. The Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministries filed suits against Newsom’s rules which prohibited religion gatherings in “Tier 1” areas of California.

Under the rules, churches in areas where the infection rate is 8% or higher could not gather. Businesses arbitrarily determined “non-essential” by the state government were also forced to close.

The Supreme Court’s ruling was brief and uncomplicated, simply issuing an unsigned order with no dissents which tossed our a ruling from a trial court in California’s Central District. The federal court has previously sided with Newsom and his restrictions, but the Supreme Court intervention means that the church will be allowed to reopen.

It follows a decision from the Supreme Court over Thanksgiving, in which newly-confirmed Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett cast the deciding vote on New York’s COVID-19 restrictions for churches and synagogues. The ruling stopped New York Governor Andrew Cuomo from restricting large religious venues from hosting events for more than 25 people, even when the venues were big enough to safely allow larger groups to assemble while socially distancing.

Lawyers representing Harvest Rock complained in their appeal to the Supreme Court that the COVID-19 restrictions are “apparently optional and penalty free” for Governor Gavin Newsom, referencing recent reports that the Democratic governor didn’t observe his own rules.

The press revealed how Newsom recently attended a party in a French Laundry restaurant with a large group of other people, despite spending weeks and months telling people in his state not to gather in large groups indoors.

Newsom’s rules – and his failure to follow them – caused a huge backlash across the state, with protesters asking why Newsom gets special allowances.

“Newsom can dine out why can’t California?” some protesters asked during the “March to Save Small Businesses” protest.

“For the governor, COVID-19 restrictions are apparently optional and penalty free. But for Churches or anyone worshipping in their own home with someone who does not live there, COVID-19 restrictions are mandatory and enforced via criminal penalties,” the Harvard Rock attorneys wrote.

With two rulings from the Supreme Court siding with religious institutions against lockdown measures in California and New York, Democrat governors may think again about implementing rules that infringe on the right of Americans to practice their religion freely.