SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Los Angeles Times - An appeals court has upheld California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s ban on in-person church services amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The split ruling found that government’s emergency powers override what in normal times would be fundamental constitutional rights. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that South Bay United Pentecostal Church in San Diego cannot reopen immediately.
The judges in the majority wrote that the state can use unusual powers as it deals with a “contagious and often fatal disease.” The decision is likely to further anger opponents who claim that California’s rules violate religious freedoms.