'Rona Madness

Supreme Court Rejects Case to Allow Full Church Occupancy


In a seldom held late-night appeal to the Supreme Court this Friday after many lower courts had already rejected was again turned down a California church who sought to allow full occupancy.

Churches occupancy had been legally limited along with many other restrictions that were signed into state by state executive orders for lockdown protocols meant to end the curve.

The San Diego South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista California tried to appeal to the Supreme Court that limiting the number of people who may attend church services is unconstitutional. The California church maintains their rights to religious freedoms are being violated when attendance is limited by 25% of their normal capacity.

According to the Chula Vista Church which the crowds for services average between 200 and 300 people, limiting their maximum attendance is not welcome by this or most churches trying to resume services. In Chicago, the court had rejected another church who maximum occupancy was severely limited.

Many of these cases have been presented to lower courts with hope that the law would defend their religious freedoms, but this church in the San Diego area was the first to escalate to the level of the Supreme Court.

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Initially Governor Jay Pritzker’s restrictions would only allow 10 people at a time in Church, which was harder to argue didn’t limit the availability of religious freedoms. Pritzker ultimately adjusted the limitation on people attending worship services to 100 individuals.

Republican Chief Justice John Roberts voted with liberal Justices claiming that the limitation of those who may attend worship in a church “appears consistent” with the expectations of the First Amendment.
Roberts said “local officials are actively shaping their response to changing facts on the ground.”
“The notion that it is ‘indisputably clear’ that the government’s limitations are unconstitutional seems quite improbable,” Roberts wrote. “Similar or more severe restrictions apply to comparable secular gatherings, including lectures, concerts, movie showings, spectator sports, and theatrical performances, where large groups of people gather in close proximity for extended periods of time.”
Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil M. Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh verified that they would have granted permission tot he churches to allow full occupancy. They all recognize these limitations as violations of Constitutional protection over freedom to exercise religious freedom. 
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According to Kavanaugh, “They [churches] should not be subject to second-guessing by an ‘unelected federal judiciary,’ which lacks the background, competence, and expertise to assess public health and is not accountable to the people.
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