By Mark Sherman | Related Press
WASHINGTON — A divided Supreme Court docket on Friday rejected an emergency enchantment by a California church that challenged state limits on attendance at worship companies which were imposed to include the unfold of the coronavirus.
Over the dissent of the 4 extra conservative justices, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the courtroom’s 4 liberals in turning away a request from the South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista, California, within the San Diego space.
The church argued that limits on how many individuals can attend their companies violate constitutional ensures of non secular freedom and had been in search of an order in time for companies on Sunday. The church stated it has crowds of 200 to 300 folks for its companies.
Roberts wrote in a quick opinion that the restriction permitting church buildings to reopen at 25% of their capability, with not more than 100 worshipers at a time, “seem constant” with the First Modification. Roberts stated comparable or extra extreme limits apply to live shows, films and sporting occasions “the place giant teams of individuals collect in shut proximity for prolonged intervals of time.”
Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote in dissent that the restriction “discriminates in opposition to locations of worship and in favor of comparable secular companies. Such discrimination violates the First Modification.” Kavanaugh pointed to supermarkets, eating places, hair salons, hashish dispensaries and different companies that aren’t topic to the identical restrictions.
Decrease courts in California had beforehand turned down the church buildings’ requests.
The courtroom additionally rejected an enchantment from two church buildings within the Chicago space that objected to Gov. Jay Pritzker’s restrict of 10 worshipers at spiritual companies. Earlier than the courtroom acted, Pritzker modified the restrictions to permit for as much as 100 folks at a time. There have been no recorded dissents.