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Supreme Court allows California churches to hold indoor services at limited capacity

After months of legal battles over Gov. Gavin Newsom’s COVID-19-related restrictions, churches in California can finally restart their indoor worship services, though only at 25% capacity, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Friday night.

“We are not scientists, but neither may we abandon the field when government officials with experts in tow seek to infringe a constitutionally protected liberty,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote, joined by Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

“Even if a full congregation singing hymns is too risky, California does not explain why even a single masked cantor cannot lead worship behind a mask and a plexiglass shield,” Gorsuch added. 

Justice Elena Kagan said, “Given California’s mild climate, that restriction—the one the Court today lifts for houses of worship alone—does not amount to a ban on the activity.”

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