Some California Churches Open Doors After Supreme Court Ruling
Justice Amy Coney Barrett has tipped the the court in favor of religious liberty vs. state public health decisions. News reports look at covid in zoos and mental health issues, as well.
Supreme Court Rules Against California Ban On In-Person Worship
A deeply divided Supreme Court doubled down on religious rights late Friday, ruling that California can no longer continue with a ban on indoor church services put in place to fight to the coronavirus pandemic. But the court said that the state, for now, can keep in place restrictions on singing and chanting inside. The two cases at the center of Friday's ruling marked a test of how far states can go to safeguard public health before running afoul of constitutional protections for the free exercise of religion. In response to suits brought by the South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista and the Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena, the court said California cannot bar in-person services altogether, but can limit attendance to 25% of capacity. (Breslow and Totenberg, 2/6)
Some California Churches Hold Indoor Services After Ruling
Some California churches opened their doors to worshippers on Sunday, after the state revised its guidelines for houses of prayer following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that lifted a ban on indoor services during the coronavirus pandemic. “This morning we declare that this house will be a house of freedom,” announced Pastor Brittany Koopman at Harvest Rock Church near Los Angeles, one of the churches that sued the state over the ban. She led a socially distanced indoor crowd in prayer before Sunday’s service, which was also streamed online. (Weber, 2/4)