I’ve always assumed that Chief Justice John Roberts didn’t have a spine but maybe he does. Maybe he’s just actually on the other side on all these issues. Really it doesn’t matter. Whether you side with those who seek to trample human rights through cowardice or ideology, it doesn’t really matter in the end.
A divided Supreme Court on Friday rejected an emergency appeal by a California church that challenged state limits on attendance at worship services that have been imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Over the dissent of the four more conservative justices, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s four liberals in turning away a request from the South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista, California, in the San Diego area.
The church argued that limits on how many people can attend their services violate constitutional guarantees of religious freedom and had been seeking an order in time for services on Sunday. The church said it has crowds of 200 to 300 people for its services.
Roberts wrote in brief opinion that the restriction allowing churches to reopen at 25% of their capacity, with no more than 100 worshipers at a time, “appear consistent” with the First Amendment. Roberts said similar or more severe limits apply to concerts, movies and sporting events “where large groups of people gather in close proximity for extended periods of time.”
Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote in dissent that the restriction “discriminates against places of worship and in favor of comparable secular businesses. Such discrimination violates the First Amendment.” Kavanaugh pointed to supermarkets, restaurants, hair salons, cannabis dispensaries and other businesses that are not subject to the same restrictions.
I guess Wal-Mart has more rights than churches. You might think that because the Bill of Rights specifically forbids the government from making any law prohibiting the exercise of religion that this case should have been a slam dunk but it turns out nah rube. Your betters know best. Please remember that. Or else.
If I could just suggest one thing to the media- in the future when the news reports on the US Supreme Court, please stop reporting that “Roberts sides with liberal justices” and just say the the five liberal justices stuck together. Just trying to help.