Supreme Court Rejects Church Appeal on In-person Service in Nevada

The Supreme Court has rejected the plea of a Nevada congregation to suspend state-imposed restrictions on in-person gatherings that only apply to faith communities and not secular entities.

In a 5-4 decision, Chief Justice John Roberts joined liberal justices to deny an appeal of Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley in Lyon County, whose plea had been rejected by lower courts, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Calvary Chapel wanted to hold services for up to 90 members, 50% capacity, while fully complying with social-distancing rules and other required measures.

The judges made no comment while rejecting the appeal.

This is the second time that Chief Justice Roberts has joined liberal justices to uphold restrictions on churches during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a one-page dissent, Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote: “In Nevada, it seems, it is better to be in entertainment than religion. Maybe that is nothing new. But there is no world in which the Constitution permits Nevada to favor Caesars Palace over Calvary Chapel.”

Sisolak argued that casinos were allowed to function with up to 50% of their capacity because the gambling industry is regulated and has on-premises enforcement officers, while houses of worship are unregulated.

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