Former President Donald Trump’s opportunity to add three conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices to the bench is starting to pay dividends, as those who fight for and value religious freedom in California were just handed a massive victory, thanks to a conservative majority ruling.
According to Breitbart, on Friday, in a 5-4 ruling, the high court ordered the state of California to lift any COVID-19 restrictions that state officials and Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) placed on in-home religious gatherings and prayers meetings.
At the crux of the legal battle was the efforts by a pastor and a group of California residents who chose to conduct at-home church gatherings in order to practice their faith while churches across the state were caught in overly strict COVID-19 lockdown protocols.
Originally, the historically liberal U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled against residents who chose to gather in each others’ homes to worship. Adding to the frustration was the fact that Newsom ignored earlier Supreme Court rulings that ordered the state to lift what it determined were unfair restrictions on religious worship.
The petitioners involved in taking the matter to the Supreme Court this time asked the high court to not only block Newsom’s authority on the matter while the case was in appeal, but they also asked for an injunction to reverse the previous rulings handed down by lower courts, which is exactly what they won on Friday.
Five conservative SCOTUS justices, including all of Trump’s appointments to the high court, ruled in favor of the worshipers. Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the three liberal SCOTUS justices.
“California treats some comparable secular activities more favorably than at-home religious exercise, permitting hair salons, retail stores, personal care services, movie theaters, private suites at sporting events and concerts, and indoor restaurants to bring together more than three households at a time,” the SCOTUS ruling said, in part. “The State cannot assume the worst when people go to worship but assume the best when people go to work.”
The ruling was not authored by a specific justice on the high court, making it a per curiam opinion.
Only time will tell, but hopefully, religious Americans in other blue states where the harshest of lockdowns are experienced will use this precedent to fight for their religious liberty as well.