Supreme Court Overturns Previous Precedent in New 1A Ruling

( – On Friday, February 5, the US Supreme Court took on health experts and elected officials regarding Constitutionally guaranteed rights. For nearly a year, churches and religious organizations questioned numerous governors’ orders closing churches while allowing businesses that don’t have explicit Constitutional rights the opportunity to remain open.

Two California churches, South Bay United Pentecostal Church and Harvest Rock Church, brought the case through appeals to the High Court. The new Conservative super-majority on the nation’s highest court sought to offer the nation a middle ground, ruling that California cannot ban indoor or outdoor church services outright. However, the court allowed some restrictions to remain in place like the prohibition on indoor singing or chanting.

There was some debate among members of the high court with Justices Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas saying they would have lifted the restrictions in full. On the flip side, Chief Justice John Roberts said the court must allow “significant deference” to state officials in public health matters, but with limits.

In her first signed ruling, Barrett wrote the state’s rules were not neutral and were likely unevenly applied against religious organizations.

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