While the Supreme Court is telling California officials to cease the ban that limits indoor house prayer numbers as a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Virus or COVID-19 measurement, five conservatives voted in favor of the ruling. In contrast, votes against it comprise of 3 liberals and none other than Chief Justice John Roberts Jr.
The high court has been confining officials from imposing CCP Virus-related prohibitions that extend to religious gatherings. The order to remove California’s ban on home-based religious worship is the latest grip the court is overturning.
Before the ruling, one of California’s health and safety restrictions during the CCP Virus pandemic ordered indoor gatherings to have only three households or less, and mask-wearing and distancing per person were still mandated. The state also had policies over public places such as schools, grocery stores, and churches.
According to Politico, an unsigned opinion sent to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit criticized that California ignored the possibility of allowing in-home worshipers to be in larger groups.
“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 restaurants to bring together more than three households at a time,” the opinion reads.
The SCOTUS ruling said, “Where the government permits other activities to proceed with precautions, it must show that the religious exercise at issue is more dangerous than those activities even when the same precautions are applied. Otherwise, precautions that suffice for other activities suffice for religious exercise too.”
The majority opinion wrote that the state’s target for coronavirus restrictions is unfair, hence condemning the Court for lack of clarification on how California manages its policies. “The State cannot assume the worst when people go to worship but assume the best when people go to work. For the fifth time, the Court has summarily rejected the Ninth Circuit’s analysis of California’s COVID (CCP Virus) restrictions on religious exercise.”
“If the court had voted to uphold such a restriction, it would have essentially made the United States a country where rights, including religious rights, can simply be suspended if an all-knowing government decides a public risk exists. And remember, they get to decide what defines a public risk,” Redstate argued.
Dissenting the court’s rule was the controversial conservative justice John Roberts and three liberals. Roberts has an “untrustworthy” image in many people’s eyes, and judging by his recent actions, Redstate asserts that he “has become a mainstay of the liberal wing of the Supreme Court.”
The dissenting opinion argued California’s three household limit was applied equally to “all kinds” of at-home gatherings.
On Monday, March 8, it has come to notice that in an 8-1 Supreme Court ruling which favored a pair of Christian students who criticized their university for limiting the when, where, and how they could talk about their religion and disseminate materials on campus. The only dissenter of this ruling was Chief Justice John Roberts.
George W. Bush appointed Chief Justice Roberts.