California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s most recent round of COVID-19 lockdowns have angered thousands of freedom-loving residents of the state, including those who demand to exercise their Constitutional right to worship as they see fit.
According to Fox News, leaders of the Harvest Rock Church are extremely unhappy with Newsom’s restrictions that limit the amount of people allowed in church, so they’re turning to the U.S. Supreme Court in an effort to block the restrictions, which they claim are discriminatory in nature.
In its filing, the church argued that Newsom has discriminated against gathering at church while allowing protesters and looters to roam free during periods of unrest. They also hit the governor for allowing many “essential” businesses to remain open “without numerical restrictions” while churches fall within heavy restrictions.
The church leaders were also sure to point out Newsom’s disregard for his own rules, referring to recent scandal in which Newsom, along with medical experts and other friends were pictured at an intimate, non mask-wearing gathering at one of the swankiest restaurants in the country.
“For the Governor, COVID-19 restrictions are apparently optional and penalty free,” the church wrote. “But for Churches or anyone worshipping in their own home with someone who does not live there, COVID-19 restrictions are mandatory and enforced via criminal penalties.”
At the crux of the church’s argument is the First Amendment, in which they point out that the Free Exercise Clause is being violated if the size of gatherings in churches is restricted while other types of establishments and businesses are treated differently.
Harvest Rock Church’s Supreme Court request follows in the wake of similar requests made by the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, who made the same argument that religious establishments are being treated unfairly under COVID-19 restrictions, according to CNBC.
The application from Harvest Rock Church will reportedly be sent to Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan. But with any luck, it’ll be sent to the full court — which would be at Kagan’s discretion — where it will receive the necessary and fair scrutiny from all justices that it deserves.