California governor Gavin Newsom was ordered to pay $1.35 million in a settlement following the Supreme Court docket’s rejection of Newsom’s restrictions on in-person non secular worship in the course of the coronavirus pandemic.
The settlement, filed with the U.S. District Court docket for the ninth Circuit final week, orders Newsom to cowl the authorized expense of Liberty Counsel, a Christian authorized group that fought restrictions on worship on behalf of Harvest Rock Church and Harvest Worldwide Ministry.
California is now completely barred from imposing restrictions on non secular establishments that aren’t equally utilized to different important infrastructure, in accordance with the phrases of the settlement.
“Gov. Gavin Newsom’s COVID restrictions discriminated in opposition to church buildings whereas offering preferential remedy to many secular companies and gatherings,” Liberty Counsel founder Matt Stover mentioned in an announcement final week. “The Supreme Court docket intervened a number of occasions to supply aid. Underneath the settlement, California might by no means once more place discriminatory restrictions on church buildings and locations of worship.”
In a number of circumstances involving the Harvest Rock Church and South Bay United Pentecostal Church, the Supreme Court docket rejected California’s restrictions on in-person worship as discriminatory.
“California . . . insists that non secular worship is so totally different that it calls for particularly onerous regulation,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in his opinion for South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom in February.
Later within the opinion, Gorsuch wrote that “if Hollywood might host a studio viewers or movie a singing competitors whereas not a single soul might enter California’s church buildings, synagogues, and mosques, one thing has gone significantly awry.”
Newsom is at the moment dealing with a recall effort fueled partly by frustration with California lockdown insurance policies.