Appeals court appears likely to overturn some California COVID-19 restrictions on churches
A federal appeals court appeared likely Monday to overturn some of California’s coronavirus restrictions on places of worship, following a U.S. Supreme Court decision that sided with churches over New York health authorities.
During an online hearing, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals grappled with the constitutionality of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s pandemic restrictions on places of worship. Pasadena-based Harvest Rock Church asked the court to block restrictions on indoor worship following a federal judge’s refusal to do so last month.
Although the panel did not issue a ruling Monday, the tenor of the questioning suggested it might reverse its previous decision upholding the constitutionality of the California restrictions.
In late September, the appeals court upheld the state rules in a 2-1 vote, with two Democratic appointees in the majority, and a Republican dissenting. At the time, the U.S. Supreme Court had also upheld restrictions on churches.
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