The Harvest Rock Church in California is turning to the Supreme Court for an emergency injunction blocking an order from Gov. Gavin Newsom restricting the number of people who are legally permitted to gather at houses of worship during the coronavirus pandemic.
California has a tiered system that places different levels of restrictions on different counties, but as of Nov. 21, 41 counties in the state — representing 94% of the state’s population — were under the most restrictive regulations that include the prohibition of all indoor religious services. Services in other counties have strict caps on the number of people permitted. The state issued specific guidance to places of worship earlier this year.
“For over nine months, the Governor has continued to discriminate against Churches’ religious worship services while permitting myriad nonreligious entities to continue to gather without numerical restrictions inside the same house of worship and in other external comparable congregate assemblies,” the church said in its filing, referring to essential businesses and services that are permitted to operate.