After Center for American Liberty (@Liberty_Ctr) put persistent pressure on Governor Newsom with three religious liberties lawsuits representing churches, faith leaders, and worshippers in the past several weeks, today he issued new guidelines for houses of worship to reopen, and the chief executive officer of the Center for American Liberty, Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban), is available for comment via phone, Skype, or Zoom.
“While the governor’s latest edict, which came after last week’s warning from the US DOJ to the governor over his unconstitutionally overly broad ban on all communal worship in California under COVID emergency restrictions, is a welcome acknowledgment that his original policy was defective, it does not go far enough,” Dhillon said. “As recently as a week ago, Governor Newsom was telling people of faith they were not second, but third or fourth class citizens who could not expect to pray together until months from now, when he says so. As recently as last week his administration took the position in court that people of faith are entitled to no special constitutional protection in an emergency, even though he himself has declared that California “flattened the curve” of the disease weeks ago, there is no hospital bed, ventilator, or mask shortage, and many retail operations have been allowed to operate freely with none of the restrictions now being imposed upon houses of worship.”
“An artificial 25% or 100 person limitation on a house of worship is inconsistent with the absence of such limitations on retail establishments,” Dhillon said. “Simply put, Governor Newsom lacks authority to dictate to California’s faithful, how they may worship. Guidelines, suggestions, education, and support are all welcome. Secular dictates that do not apply to other categories of our daily lives, are not welcome and not constitutional.”
“Governor Newsom, step aside and open up our churches, synagogues, mosques, gurdwaras, mandirs, temples, and other places of worship, and let people who wish to worship safely and together, do so,” Dhillon said. “Until you do, we will continue to pursue our clients’ First Amendment rights in court, all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if we must so that this suppress of faith is fully abated and never repeated.”
About the Center for American Liberty
The Center for American Liberty is a nonprofit litigation, education, and public policy organization dedicated to advancing free speech rights and civil liberties. Founded by Harmeet K. Dhillon in 2019, the Center for American Liberty connects Americans whose fundamental civil rights have been violated, with pro-bono and low-bono legal representation to defend those rights and the rights of all Americans.
The article above was released by the Center for American Liberty.