“There is no world in which the Constitution permits Nevada to favor Caesars Palace over Calvary Chapel.” –Gorsuch

The United States Supreme Court has rejected the request of a Nevada church to halt an extremely discriminatory COVID-19 “precaution”. The case, Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley v. Sisolak, was a 5-4 decision. The Nevada edict places a 50-person cap on church services, regardless of the size of the church building, but places a 50% cap on casinos, bars, movie theaters, and other businesses.

For perspective, a casino with a maximum building occupancy of 1,000 is capped at 500. But a church with the same maximum building capacity is capped at 50. There were no typos there. The edict is literally that bad.

Once again…Chief Justice Roberts joined the Court’s left-wing radicals– without comment. But conservative Justices Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, and Alito were not going to dissent quietly. The justices recognized a state’s authority to implement restrictive measures in general but slammed the disproportionate means of the Nevada edict.

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Justice Kavanaugh:

“In my view, Nevada’s discrimination against religious services violates the Constitution. To be clear, a State’s closing or reopening plan may subject religious organizations to the same limits as secular organizations. And in light of the devastating COVID–19 pandemic, those limits may be very strict.

But a State may not impose strict limits on places of worship and looser limits on restaurants, bars, casinos, and gyms, at least without sufficient justification for the differential treatment of religion. As I will explain, Nevada has thus far failed to provide a sufficient justification, and its current reopening plan therefore violates the First Amendment.”

Justice Gorsuch:

“Under the Governor’s edict, a 10- screen “multiplex” may host 500 moviegoers at any time. A casino, too, may cater to hundreds at once, with perhaps six people huddled at each craps table here and a similar number gathered around every roulette wheel there.

Large numbers and close quarters are fine in such places. But churches, synagogues, and mosques are banned from admitting more than 50 worshippers—no matter how large the building, how distant the individuals, how many wear face masks, no matter the precautions at all.

In Nevada, it seems, it is better to be in entertainment than religion. Maybe that is nothing new. But the First Amendment prohibits such obvious discrimination against the exercise of religion. The world we inhabit today, with a pandemic upon us, poses unusual challenges. But there is no world in which the Constitution permits Nevada to favor Caesars Palace over Calvary Chapel.”

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Gorsuch’s one-paragraph dissent is being touted as one of the greatest responses to the left’s attempt to punish churches and places of worship.


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