An attorney warns Californians have not heard the last of an effort to force clergy to report certain confessions to the government.
"We expect it to come back in some kind of different form," says attorney Brad Dacus of Pacific Justice Institute. "That's why we need to pay attention to it, to watch for it, and to, if necessary, once again fight it."
California Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties) has placed SB 360 on hold. Senator Hill has stated the measure "is about the safety and protection of children," but Dacus tells OneNewsNow "this horrific bill" would have forced clergy to basically become government informants, "breaching the trust between clergy and the people they're trying to minister to."
He also warns it would "limit the ability for churches to do their job, which is to minister to those who have guilt, who have pain, who need forgiveness, who need healing."
SB 360 had already passed the Senate with a 30-4 vote. It then went to the Assembly's Public Safety Committee for consideration.
Pacific Justice Institute–Center for Public Policy (PJI-CPP) sent a lengthy legal opinion letter to all of the Assembly members encouraging then to oppose the bill. According to the letter, there were serious First Amendment concerns with SB 360.
On July 8, the Public Safety Committee published an analysis of SB 360 that mirrored the First Amendment concerns discussed in PJI-CPP's position letter.