After the Supreme Court struck down some of the more strict COVID-19 policies, the Californian churches will be able to re-open with limited capacity.
The curt that is now with the majority of conservatives, has prioritized to protect the religious rights even at the possible expense of public health.
Neil Gorsuch, who is a Trump appointee wrote that “If Hollywood may host a studio audience or film a singing competition while not a single soul may enter California’s churches, synagogues, and mosques, something has gone seriously awry,”
He was among the 6 conservatives on the court. The argument was that the state has signaled out religious institutions while they have allowed other establishments to reopen.
“This Court certainly is not downplaying the suffering many have experienced in this pandemic,“ added Gorsuch.
Gavin Newsom, the governor of California has previously introduced a tiered series of coronavirus restrictions across the state. Which prohibited church services that were indoors.
Now the court has ruled that churches and other religious institutes can re open only with 25% of the capacity.
Justice Elena Kagan wrote on behalf of the court’s liberal wing, saying the ruling was hypocritical seeing as the Supreme Court is doing business remotely themselves.
Kagan said that they should not be second guessing the health experts with their “armchair epidemiology”
“Justices of this Court are not scientists. If this decision causes suffering, we will not pay. Our marble halls are now closed to the public, and our life tenure forever insulates us from responsibility for our errors. That would seem good reason to avoid disrupting a state’s pandemic response.” – she wrote.
The court had previously sided with the public health experts with allowing the religious restrictions in some cases, but that changed after the death of justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
When she was replaced with Amy Coney Barett, whom Trump appointed, the court swung rightward. And the ruling on Friday follows the other court decisions to strike down similar restrictions in New York.