Conservative justices rip Nevada for anti-church edict

Tuesday, July 28, 2020
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

U.S. Supreme Court w/ flagDespite a 5-4 decision by the nation’s highest court, churches are still expected to challenge COVID-19 orders from state and local governments.

Last Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court denied an emergency request for an injunction pending appeal regarding an application filed by a Nevada church.

However, Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel says the denial of emergency relief pending appeal is not a denial on the merits of the case.

"You can't look at the media spin that essentially says the Supreme Court has already decided the cases involving churches," says Staver. "They have not. There is no final decision. There's no ruling on the merits.”

According to The Associated Press, the court voted 5-4 to reject the request by Calvary Chapel to strike down a 50-person limit on its worship services.

The church is asking to be “subjected to the same COVID-19 restrictions in Nevada that allow casinos, restaurants and other businesses to operate at 50% of capacity with proper social distancing,” the AP reported.

The church appealed to the Ninth U.S. Circuit of Appeals last month after a Nevada judge upheld the business-friendly policy. An appellate court is considering the appeal but requested an emergency injunction. 

Staver

The same news story quoted conservative justices on the high court ripping their colleagues in dissenting opinions.

“The Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion,” wrote Justice Samuel Alito. “It says nothing about freedom to play craps or blackjack, to feed tokens into a slot machine or to engage in any other game of chance.”

Justice Neil Gorsuch similarly complained there is “no world in which the Constitution permits Nevada to favor Caesars Palace over Calvary Chapel.”

"This case is far from over regarding churches and even with regards to the one in Nevada,” Staver advises. “There is no court yet that has had a financial decision on the merits at the court of appeals.”

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