Attorneys for MacArthur say judge has agreed to trial

Thursday, September 24, 2020
 | Staff (

gavel with Bible 2Attorneys for California pastor John MacArthur announced late Thursday their client and his church have won the right to a court trial in the ongoing legal fight with local and state public officials.

The announcement by Thomas More Society means a trial judge will hear Los Angeles County defend its contempt citation against Grace Community Church and also hear attorneys for the church fight the constitutionality of such orders.

MacArthur is fighting local officials in a county where numerous businesses are allowed to operate but Grace Community and all other churches are ordered to remain closed unless they conduct outdoor services. 

According to L.A. County's "Roadmap to Recovery" website:

Gyms and fitness centers, offices of non-critical sectors, places of worship, personal care services, and indoor malls must continue to cease all indoor operations as ordered by the State of California. Additionally, indoor operations at restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, family entertainment, zoos, museums, and cardrooms remain closed. 

A list of what can open in L.A. County has be seen here. 

L.A. County has a population of 10 million, where fewer than 6,500 have died from COVID-19 to date.  

The county's shut-down orders, ironically, could delay a contempt trial until 2021 but a hearing is set for Nov. 13 to allow attorneys on both sides to argue over the preliminary injunction before Judge Mitchell Beckloff, Thomas More said.

“This ruling,” Thomas More special counsel Charles LiMandri said, “prevents Los Angeles County’s attempted rush to judgment in its continued prosecution of Pastor John MacArthur and Grace Community Church for courageously exercising their First Amendment rights.”

MacArthur, who has led the church since the 1960s, has said he and church elders willingly closed their doors when medical experts predicted a terrible pandemic that never materialized despite the warnings.  

"I’m very grateful to Judge Beckloff for providing full due process and recognizing the importance of these constitutional protections," MacArthur said in a statement. "The reality is that the county cannot show that their order is even rational, much less necessary." 


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