U.S. Supreme Court Grants “Injunctive Relief” from Governor for California Churches and Pastors
TUPELO, Miss.— Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court granted “injunctive relief” to California churches and pastors who have not been able to meet in person, due to Governor Gavin Newsom’s efforts to block church gatherings. Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry, which includes multiple campuses, filed suit against California over ongoing shutdown orders during the COVID-19 pandemic. The church argued the orders were in violation of their religious freedom.
“As our Founders intended –– and when the Constitution is properly applied –– the First Amendment is a bulwark against government overreach,” said Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association. “In the case of California and Governor Newsom, we’re talking about a single individual engaged in tyranny.”
Governor Newsom is accused of religious discrimination since he has neglected to apply the same standards and capacity limits to warehouses, shopping malls, liquor stores, fitness centers, museums, and big-box centers.
The suit also argued that Governor Newsom’s order from July 2020, banning indoor worship—including singing and chanting, in as many as 30 counties—also bans members from gathering at each other’s homes for Bible studies in said counties.
The high court tossed a lower court ruling that had denied Harvest Rock Church and other California churches a chance to make their case. The U.S. Supreme Court cited its recent 5-4 ruling in Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo to justify granting the relief and sending the case back to the district court.
“But Governor Newsom is not the only one, as the pandemic has seen political leaders great and small overstep their clearly defined authority and target churches, synagogues, and mosques with unconstitutional hostility,” continued Wildmon. “We are grateful that the U.S. Supreme Court stepped in to defend religious liberty, and we are especially grateful that President Trump kept his promise to appoint constitutionalists to the federal judiciary.”
For over 40 years, AFA has operated within the mission to inform, equip, and activate individuals to strengthen the moral foundations of American culture and give aid to the church here and abroad in its task of fulfilling the Great Commission. Visit AFA Action Alerts here.
AFA—founded in 1977—has long been on the front lines of America’s culture war. Today, AFA is one of the largest and most effective pro-family organizations in the country, with nearly a million online supporters and approximately 160,000 subscribers to the AFA Journal, the ministry’s monthly magazine. In addition, AFA owns and operates nearly 200 radio stations across the country under the American Family Radio banner.
To interview a representative of the American Family Association, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Jeff Tolson, 610.584.1096, ext. 108, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.