..Federal Courts Uphold COVID Worship Bans Religious liberties, public health deadlocked over COVID-19 bans
Although the Bible commands singing to the Lord, public health officials say it’s an activity that spreads COVID-19, leaving churches in conflict with government limits on public gatherings. Several California pastors have filed lawsuits for what they see as intrusions on the free exercise of religion, but federal courts aren’t taking any chances.
A federal appellate court even thwarted a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in the name of curbing coronavirus infections and hospitalizations.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals became a thorn in the side of Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry in Pasadena when it ruled against allowing worshipers to return to church even though SCOTUS had lifted COVID-19 prohibitions in Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and Agudath Israel of America v Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.
“I’m disappointed,” said Matthew Staver, attorney for Harvest Rock Church. “The decision to uphold a total ban makes no sense. We’re back at the U.S. Supreme Court, and I think we’ll get a much better ruling at the high court, which will ultimately stop this unconstitutional restriction across the state of California.”
The ban Mr. Staver is referring to is under California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy.
“We argue that California has the most severe restrictions in the entire country and Roman Catholic Diocese and Agudath Israel v Gov. Cuomo requires striking down the restriction,” Mr. Staver told PacerMonitor News. “The court didn’t do it. That’s the main argument.”
Harvest Rock Church isn’t the only California house of worship grappling in federal court with the ban on indoor services...