SCOTUS Rules for Religious Freedom, Another Slap to Newsom as He Faces Recall Effort and New Lawsuit

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On Friday, the Supreme Court issued a ruling on religious freedom that could be another blow to California Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom as he faces a recall effort. The Court ordered Santa Clara County to allow churches to hold indoor worship services.

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Last week, five churches in the county challenged the county’s public health orders which ban indoor church services, asking the Ninth Circuit for an emergency stay. When that effort failed, the churches applied for an emergency writ of injunction with Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, as she is assigned to the West Coast for emergency motions. She told the county to issue a response and referred the case to the Supreme Court.

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“The churches pointed to the Supreme Court’s recent rulings in two cases – one lifting New York’s COVID-related limits on attendance at worship services and the other granting requests by southern California churches to resume indoor worship services – to support their contention that the Santa Clara County order must also fall,” Amy Howe noted at SCOTUSblog.

The justices ruled the county’s restrictions should be put on hold until the appeals process was over, writing:

The application for injunctive relief presented to Justice Kagan and by her referred to the Court is granted pending disposition of the appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and disposition of the petition for a writ of certiorari, if such writ is timely sought. The Ninth Circuit’s failure to grant relief was erroneous. This outcome is clearly dictated by this Court’s decision in South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom.

Nebraska GOP senator Ben Sasse responded to the ruling, asserting, “Gavin Newsom can get a reservation at the French Laundry but he can’t rewrite the First Amendment. States that intentionally target religious liberty have been slapped down by the courts again and again. The message is clear: This pandemic doesn’t rewrite the Constitution,” as The Washington Free Beacon reported.

This is not the only thing that Newsom faces.

A group of high school athletes in California filed a lawsuit against Gov. Gavin Newsom Monday to challenge his ban on indoor youth sports during the coronavirus pandemic.

The group of five athletes, — a basketball player, a wrestler, a cheerleader, and two volleyball players — jointly filed for a temporary restraining order, with the support of their parents and guardians, in Orange County Superior Court.

The lawsuit argues that under the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment, youth sports have been treated unfairly because collegiate and professional indoor sports in the state have been allowed to play, according to FOX 11 of Los Angeles.

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“It’s been a little bit annoying considering I’ve been working hard all this quarantine and then we just keep getting canceled, it’s just frustrating,” said Caleb Graham, a junior who plays for the Canyon High School basketball team in Anaheim.

“I’ve been watching college volleyball for a while now and it’s frustrating seeing them play cause we’re not able to,” added Elodie Danet, a sophomore volleyball player at El Modena High School in Orange. “We’re not able to play the season and have the experience needed for college.”

Brad Graham, Caleb’s father — who is part of the grassroots advocacy group Let Them Play CA — says Newsom has no medical evidence to justify banning youth sports while professional and collegiate sports are allowed to continue.

“They can’t say that it’s OK for college to play and not OK for the high school kids to play,” Brad Graham said, according to the station. “The time to move forward is now, there’s not a huge risk to these kids, especially if we follow the same protocols that colleges and pros follow.”

High school athletes are currently prohibited from playing indoors unless a county reaches the yellow tier (minimal risk), according to the Orange County Register.

The athletes are being represented by the law firm Wingert Grebing Brubaker & Juskie, LLP, which recently won a similar temporary restraining order against Newsom over the state’s limits on youth sports in San Diego County, FOX 11 reported.

“We plan to spread this victory throughout California,” said Stephen Grebing of the law firm. “In addition to Orange County today, we hope to file lawsuits in Santa Clara, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Riverside, San Bernardino, and other counties this week and next, to ensure that all youths, girls and boys, have the same right to play sports, indoor and outdoor, as college athletes and professional athletes do.”

This is an excerpt from The Daily Wire.

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