US SC nixes California regulation limiting home religious worship

SC has ruled that Calif. can't impose restrictions on home-based religious worship due to COVID-19 that don't apply to secular activities.

Tags: California
Dan Verbin ,

Prayer book, shawl
Prayer book, shawl

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that California cannot impose restrictions on home-based religious worship due to COVID-19.

The court’s ruling on Friday comes amid several other recent cases in which they have halted state officials from enforcing coronavirus regulations on religious gatherings.

In their ruling, the court noted, “California treats some comparable secular activities more favorably than at-home religious exercise, permitting hair salons, retail stores, personal care services, movie theaters, private suites at sporting events and concerts, and indoor restaurants to bring together more than three households at a time.”

California, as part of its push to limit indoor gatherings to less than three households, where everyone must wear masks and physically distance, had placed different restrictions on specific venues, such as schools and grocery stores. However, in-home worship fell under a different category than similarly sized secular activities.

As of April 15, California is set to remove many of the more stringent restrictions with infection rates decreasing in the state.

The five conservative justices on the court voted that California must remove restrictions on in-home religious worship, while the court’s three liberal justices and Chief Justice John Roberts were against the move.