More fruit harvested today from the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn as the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom wins in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
From the decision today against Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak’s clearly discriminatory anti-Covid regulations that penalized churches with severe attendance limits while leaving casinos essentially free to operate with no such considerations:
“The Supreme Court’s decision in Roman Catholic Diocese compels us to reverse the district court. Just like the New York restrictions, the Directive treats numerous secular activities and entities significantly better than religious worship services.
“Casinos, bowling alleys, retail businesses, restaurants, arcades, and other similar secular entities are limited to 50 percent of fire-code capacity, yet houses of worship are limited to 50 people regardless of their fire-code capacities. As a result, the restrictions in the Directive, although not identical to New York’s, require attendance limitations that create the same ‘disparate treatment’ of religion.”
The appeals court directed the District Court that had decided against the Calvary Chapel of Dayton Valley congregation to revisit its decision and evaluate the Sisolak edict according to the strict scrutiny standard the Supreme Court used in the Brooklyn case.
More to come!