Today, the Center for American Liberty, in conjunction with the Dhillon Law Group, Inc., on behalf of churches in San Bernardino County and Riverside County represented in Gish v. Newsom, filed an emergency application for a writ of injunction before the Honorable Elena Kagan at the United States Supreme Court.
“California treats houses of worship with a harsher hand than secular businesses. With most of California under the strictest of lockdowns, many businesses are permitted to operate at reduced capacity and some without any limitations at all. Houses of worship, though, must remain closed for in-person services,” the writ states.
Today’s writ comes after the Supreme Court enjoined New York Governor Andrew Cuomo from discriminating against houses of worship through his COVID-19 order and after the Supreme Court vacated a federal district court’s decision in Harvest Rock Church v. Newsom earlier this month.
“Christians in New York and other states may worship freely, especially during the holiday season, so long as they and the churches they attend follow reasonable health guidelines such as sanitization and distancing. In contrast, Christians in California, and particularly the Applicants, are not permitted to follow the dictates of their conscience and worship together in person with their fellow Christians. Allowing California to continue discriminating on the basis of religion will cause an inequality nationwide, where the First Amendment applies in some states and Circuit Court jurisdictions, but not in others, such as the Ninth Circuit or the State of California,” the writ explains.
And while the Supreme Court’s message couldn’t be clearer—the Constitution forbids discriminating against houses of worship—over the past few weeks, courts across the country have ignored the Highest Court’s directive.
So, after nearly nine months of litigation on behalf of churches in San Bernardino County and Riverside County, Gish v. Newsom is now before the United States Supreme Court in pursuit of an injunction.