Judge rules against California church again
The Supreme Court decision that restored freedom of worship to Brooklyn congregations does not apply to California’s COVID-19 restrictions, a federal judge ruled late Monday. U.S. District Judge Jesus G. Bernal said the state’s ban on indoor worship did not compare to the New York rules or Nevada restrictions tossed out by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The difference? California allows church gatherings outdoors in unlimited numbers, the judge said.
Where does that leave California congregations? Their legal battles continue as Harvest Rock Church and others, including Pastor John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church, hold indoor worship in disobedience of state guidelines. A state judge in Bakersfield, Calif., blocked enforcement of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s guidelines against a Catholic priest earlier this month, but the ruling only applied to the congregations that priest oversees.
Dig deeper: Read Steve West’s report in Liberties about the ruling in favor of the Rev. Trevor Burfitt of San Diego.
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