free exercise of religion

In Tandon v. Newsom the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the Ninth Circuit should have preliminarily struck down California’s and Santa Clara County’s COVID rule permitting only three families to gather in homes at a time. The Supreme Court reasoned that this rule likely violates the First Amendment because at-home religious exercise is treated less favorably than comparable secular activities.

In an unauthored decision the Supreme Court...

In Gateway City Church v. Gavin Newsom, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Santa Clara County, California, stay-at-home order disallowing indoor religious services.

In February 2021, in South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom, a divided Supreme Court struck down California’s ban on indoor religious services in places...

A divided U.S. Supreme Court struck down California’s “Tier 1” total ban on indoor religious services, while allowing a 25% capacity limitation. Most of the state is currently under Tier 1 COVID-19 restrictions. It also allowed California’s to continue banning singing and chanting during indoor services.

While a number of Justices issued opinions, the Court issued no majority opinion.  Chief Justice Roberts’ two-...

The U.S. Supreme Court sent two cases involving limits on religious service attendance back to lower courts to reconsider in light of Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, New York v. Cuomo. In that case the Court ruled 5-4 that New York’s limits on attending religious services to 10 or 25 people while grocery stores, banks, and laundromats, etc. could admit as many people as the liked, likely violated the First Amendment. Prior to the New York case the...

Over no noted dissents and without an opinion, the Supreme Court ordered a federal district court to decide again whether California may ban all indoor religious services in counties most severely hit by COVID-19. The order instructs the federal district court to reconsider this case, Harvest Rock Church v. Newsome, in light of the Supreme Court decision last week in...

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