Headline RoundupApril 11th, 2021

Supreme Court Lifts California Restrictions On At-Home Worship Gatherings

Summary from the AllSides News Team

On Friday night, the Supreme Court struck down California's limits on home-based worship meetings, saying it violated constitutional rights. The court's five conservative justices agreed to lift California restrictions that apply to in-home religious gatherings, while the court's three liberals and Chief Justice John Roberts would not have done so. Currently, most of the state limits indoor social gatherings to no more than three households and require attendees to wear masks and keep a physical distance. The unsigned order from the court states, “California treats some comparable secular activities more favorably than at-home religious exercise,” referencing the state's decision to allow hair salons, retail stores, and movie theaters to reopen. Justice Elena Kagan wrote in a dissent joined by Justice Stephen Breyer and Justice Sonia Sotomayor that the court's decision hurts state officials' ability to address the public health emergency. The court acknowledged that California's policy on gatherings will change next week, but said the restrictions will remain in place until then and that “officials with a track record of 'moving the goalposts' retain authority to reinstate those heightened restrictions at any time.” This order comes after a series of cases in which the court barred officials from enacting some COVID-related restrictions on religious gatherings. In February, The Supreme Court ordered California to allow churches to resume indoor worship services at limited capacity. The story received coverage from across the political spectrum. Some left-rated coverage highlighted Justice Amy Coney Barrett's "decisive" role in the court's dynamic, pointing out that since Barrett's confirmation, the court has repeatedly ruled in favor of religious groups who claim state restrictions against worship gatherings violate the constitution.

Featured Coverage of this Story

More headline roundups

More News about Religion and Faith from the Left, Center and Right

From the Left

From the Center

From the Right