In Nevada, it seems being in the entertainment business has more leeway than those exercising their constitutionally protected right to worship. Amid the COVID outbreak, the state has limits on the capacity of certain locations. For churches, it’s no more than 50. For everything else, from movie theaters to casinos, it’s much more than that. It seems a bit unfair. The standard makes no sense, but it seems to be perfectly logical for Chief Justice John Roberts who sided with the liberal wing of the Supreme Court in the case of a church who challenged this unfair standard (via NYT):
NEW: Supreme Court votes 5-4 to reject bid by Nevada church to ease limits on size of services. Roberts joins liberals in majority. Church said casinos were given more favorable treatment.— Greg Stohr (@GregStohr) July 24, 2020
The Supreme Court on Friday rejected a request from a church in Nevada to block enforcement of state restrictions on attendance at religious services.
The vote was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joining the court’s four more liberal members to form a majority.
The court’s brief order was unsigned and gave no reasons, which is typical when the justices act on emergency applications. The court’s four more conservative members filed three dissents, totaling 24 pages.
Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley in Dayton, Nev., argued that the state treated houses of worship less favorably than it did casinos, restaurants and amusement parks. Those businesses have been limited to 50 percent of their fire-code capacities, while houses of worship have been subject to a flat 50-person limit.
Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., in a dissent joined by Justices Clarence Thomas and Brett M. Kavanaugh, wrote that the distinction made no sense.
Gorsuch dissent is one paragraph long and it's a dandy pic.twitter.com/eF3sWxOKyL— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) July 25, 2020
How does John Roberts NOT agree with this? https://t.co/pWeCuff7ux— Larry O'Connor (@LarryOConnor) July 25, 2020
John Roberts has abandoned his oath.— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 25, 2020
But, on the upside, maybe Nevada churches should set up craps tables? Then they could open? https://t.co/6pWoOwg9ts
Judge Neil Gorsuch’s dissent is a mere paragraph but torches the liberal wing of the Court with this decision. This isn’t the first time Roberts has sided with liberals on places of worship challenging COVID attendance policies. It’s yet another time this man has stabbed us in the back. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) went onto say this decision shows the man has abandoned his oath.