SCOTUS Overturns Cali Home Gatherings Restrictions

| April 10, 2021

In the latest ruling from the high court that prohibits authorities from enforcing limits on religious services, SCOTUS ruled by a 5-4 margin that California’s COVID restrictions on gatherings in private homes violated constitutional rights on the free exercise of religion. The conservative majority found that the Ninth Circuit “did not conclude” that permitted non-religious activities posed a lesser risk of transmission than religious exercises. Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s three liberal judges in the dissent.

AW1 Rod sends.

Supreme Court rules against California’s limits on in-home religious gatherings

The decision noted it was the fifth time the court has rejected the Ninth Circuit’s analysis of California coronavirus restrictions

By Brie Stimson

The U.S. Supreme Court in a divided decision late Friday ruled in favor of lifting restrictions on in-home religious gatherings, overturning a lower court ruling that upheld Gov. Gavin Newsom’s limits on people from different homes.

The 5-4 unsigned ruling follows other similar decisions recently regarding churches and the coronavirus pandemic. The decision noted it was the fifth time the court has rejected the Ninth Circuit’s analysis of California coronavirus restrictions.

Chief Justice John Roberts dissented but did not sign the dissenting statement submitted by justices Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor and Stephen Breyer.

The ruling stated that before it can limit religious gatherings, the government must prove they pose a greater danger than secular activities that remain open, such as shopping or attending movies.

“Otherwise, precautions that suffice for other activities suffice for religious exercise too,” the majority opinion said, adding that California “treats some comparable secular activities more favorably than at-home religious exercise, permitting hair salons, retail stores, personal care services, movie theaters, private suites at sporting events and concerts and indoor dining at restaurants to bring together more than three households at a time.”

Perhaps one of our legal eagles can explain the significance, if any, of Roberts not signing the dissent. Read the entire article here: Fox News
Thanks, Rod.

Category: COVID-19, Guest Link, SCOTUS

Comments (18)

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  1. 26Limabeans says:

    5-4? Phew….that was close. Too damn close.

    I’m not a lawer and I don’t even play one at home but
    someday before I die I would like see a “real” majority
    decision on something of significance.
    In my favor of course…..

  2. Ex-PH2 says:

    IS the Leftherd bunch worried about not having its ways all the time, or is it worried that religious freedom is getting legal support?

    https://www.foxnews.com/media/new-york-times-religious-right-supreme-court-victories

    The “Green” movement is evolving into a religious movement, which has real-world consequences if the support for it evolves into mandatory membership.

    The Lefterds only want the Supremes to support the 1st Amendment when it benefits them. If it benefits non-liberals, it becomes a “poison pill” of sorts.

    • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

      Said “Green” movement has been preaching its cult propaganda since the seventies Ex-PH2, I remember it in grade school!

  3. Sparks says:

    Roberts not signing indicates he went with the liberal side for show but does not agree with them.

    • Sparks says:

      Addendum…Who said there aren’t politics in the Supreme Court? No one who has watched them for a very, very long time. Not in my lifetime for sure.

      • Mason says:

        The most recent guy to protest the claim there is politics in the high court was none other than the man who flip-flops around on issues that should be apolitical.

  4. The Other Whitey says:

    I’d say Roberts needs to be kicked hard in the balls, if only he had any to kick.

  5. David says:

    I always laugh when folks claim a conservative 6-3 majority on the Court. As long as Roberts is there, it’s more like 5-4.

    • Mason says:

      Or 4-5 lately.

      I’ll never understand how Democrats always get the judges they want, that march in lockstep, but Republicans are less than 50/50 at getting people who can read and understand the plain language of the Constitution.

    • AW1 Rod says:

      I wonder if Bush knew that he had nominated a DemocRAT stalking horse for Chief Justice, or if he was a victim of “bait and switch,“ like the rest of us. Whichever the case, Roberts has been an absolute disaster.

    • 5JC says:

      Republicans are always screwing this up. Don’t ever forget it was Nixon that got us Stevens. If you can think of a worse R pick in the last 60 years I’d been interested in hearing about it.

    • rgr769 says:

      There are some “powers” that apparently have the ability to make Roberts rule however they choose.

  6. KoB says:

    Never understood the restrictions on the gatherings. Considered that, in particular, to be a blatant violation of Constitutional Rights. Had suggested, last year, that Churches could meet in Wally World or the Home Depots/Lowes around the Country since they never shut down business. Odd that a retail establishment was a safe place to be, but a Church was not…or a private home.

    Never understood what the libs have on Roberts either, but for someone who was promoted as being a Conservative Constitutionalist, he seems to have marched in lockstep with the ones hell bent on destroying the freedoms that we take for granted. The current admin has become the Nazis and all those that don’t agree with them have become Jews.

    Anybody else following what is becoming of the Chinese Mooslems in their death camps? Ex-PH2 has mentioned that several times. And the lame stream media isn’t even talking about it.

    • Mason says:

      I know somebody who got COVID several months back. State department of health called her (she ignored multiple calls until she finally just gave in). They wanted to know which restaurant or bar she’d been at. “None. Only place I’ve been the last few weeks is Wal-Mart. I must have got it there.”

      “Impossible.” Says the “health expert” on the other end of the phone. She was then challenged again on where and when she’d attended any social gatherings.

      It’s impossible to get COVID at the grocery store (also at fiery but mostly peaceful riots). Only bars, restaurants, and social gatherings!

  7. Mason says:

    How fucked in the head do you have to be to not be able to read the First Amendment and realize that these COVID restrictions violate both the free exercise of religion and the right to peaceably assemble?

    The amendment was specifically written to allow these things!

    5-4? Should be 9-0. Easily.

  8. 11B-Mailclerk says:

    Note that they didn’t say “the Calizuelan order was an egregious violation of the First Amendment”. They instead said the the Calizuelan regime failed to show a difference between home worship and other gatherings.

    That is a very, very thin reed to hang a 5th vote upon.

    Also, that makes a very thin precedent. If the Calizuelan regime had the stones to say “one sort of gathering is essential because it pays sales taxes”, Roberts would likely have written the 5-4 majority opinion to uphold it.

  9. Commie-Tsar says:

    The Supreme Court was wrong in their thinking… there is only one religion, that of the government and science – together they will show you the way to a life of equity and justice that is needed. The Commissariat of California will work to suppress any and all “religions” that are not recognized by the state.

    TEH COVID IS REAL!!!! YOU NEED TO MASK UP AND HIDE IN YOUR HOMES UNTIL THE STATE AND TEH SCIENCE SAYS IT’S SAFE!!!! THE THREAT IS REAL!!!