The Gateway Pundit posted an article today about a Supreme Court decision that was released last night. Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley had petitioned the Court to have the same standards of occupancy that casinos have under Nevada pandemic rules. Governor Steve Sisolak has put in place pandemic rules that limit houses of worship to 50 people regardless of size, compared to casinos and restaurants that have higher limits set at fifty percent of capacity.
The article reports:
No supporting opinion was released by the Court, just the decision: “The application for injunctive relief presented to JUSTICE KAGAN and by her referred to the Court is denied.”
Three of the four dissenting justices wrote opinions, with the one by Justice Neil Gorsuch being short and sharp:
JUSTICE GORSUCH, dissenting from denial of application for injunctive relief.
“This is a simple case. Under the Governor’s edict, a 10-screen “multiplex” may host 500 moviegoers at any time. A casino, too, may cater to hundreds at once, with perhaps six people huddled at each craps table here and a similar number gathered around every roulette wheel there. Large numbers and close quarters are fine in such places. But churches, synagogues, and mosques are banned from admitting more than 50 worshippers—no matter how large the building, how distant the individuals, how many wear face masks, no matter the precautions at all. In Nevada, it seems, it is better to be in entertainment than religion. Maybe that is nothing new. But the First Amendment prohibits such obvious discrimination against the exercise of religion. The world we inhabit today, with a pandemic upon us, poses unusual challenges. But there is no world in which the Constitution permits Nevada to favor Caesars Palace over Calvary Chapel.”
All three dissents, by Justices Alito, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, can be read at the Supreme Court website.
The article quotes Senator Tom Cotton’s reaction to the ruling:
“Freedom of religion is our first freedom. Yet SCOTUS has ruled that casinos can host hundreds of gamblers, while churches cannot welcome their full congregations. Justice Roberts once again got it wrong, shamefully closing church doors to their flocks.”
I don’t know where we go to get our First Amendment rights back. I hope enough people are paying attention so that we will get them back.