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Supreme Court Again Rules that Safety and Health Regulations Override Religious Freedom

Dissenting opinion in this pandemic-related ruling expressed First Amendment concerns.

Supreme Court Again Rules that Safety and Health Regulations Override Religious Freedom
Image: syahrir maulana | Getty

On July 24, 2020, the US Supreme Court ruled that safety and health regulations override religious freedom. Calvary Chapel v. Sisolak, 590 U.S. ___ (2020). Ruling in another such case in May, this is the second time this year the Court has denied a church’s request for an exemption from a state mandate limiting the size of worship services.

The church cited unequal treatment

A church (Calvary Chapel) in Nevada wanted to host worship services for about 90 congregants, or up to 50 percent of its fire-code capacity. In conducting these services, the church planned to take several precautions going beyond anything that the state requires.

In addition to asking congregants to adhere to proper social-distancing protocols, it intended to cut the length of services in half. It also planned to require six feet of separation between families seated in the pews, to prohibit items from being passed ...

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Posted:
  • July 27, 2020

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