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SCOTUS Saturday: Late Night Religion

Late last night, the Supreme Court reached a decision in SOUTH BAY UNITED PENTECOSTAL CHURCH, ETAL.v. GAVIN NEWSOM, GOVERNOR OFCALIFORNIA, ET AL, and unfortunately for South Bay UPC, they found in a 5-4 split to deny the church’s application for injunctive relief. Presently, they are limited to the lower of 25% capacity or 100 people, a limitation not imposed on other businesses. Chief Justice Roberts joined the left of the court in denying the injunction.

The contention in the opinions is whether or not secular activities such as “operating grocery stores, banks, and laundromats, in which people neither congregate in large groups nor remain in close proximity for extended periods” as Justice Kagan puts it, are dissimilar enough from churches to not impose the 25% occupancy ban.

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