Breaking: Church Files Emergency Request at SCOTUS

Nov 23, 2020

Liberty Counsel has filed for an emergency injunction pending appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court, requesting the High Court to immediately put a stop to CA Gov. Gavin Newsom’s escalating assault on churches. Read on. - Mat

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CA Gov. Gavin Newsom has instituted new lockdowns for much of California. In addition to curfews, he also now limits Thanksgiving dinner. No more than three families may meet, dinner must be outside, and masks must be worn. Guests can briefly visit an indoor restroom, if sanitized between uses.

In most of California, ALL worship is banned, including Bible studies in private homes with anyone who does not live there.

Pastor Ché Ahn, Harvest Rock Church, its staff, and parishioners face daily criminal charges and fines of 1,000 dollars per day. Each criminal charge comes with up to one year in prison.

These criminal threats in writing from the Pasadena Criminal Prosecutor also apply to the church’s home-fellowship Life Groups. Our case is pending at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, even as we await the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the emergency injunction.

Here are the actual, verifiable facts about Newsom’s lawless orders:

  • On July 6, Gov. Newsom issued a “Worship Guidance” document which states unequivocally, “Places of worship must therefore discontinue singing and chanting activities and limit indoor attendance to 25% of building capacity or a maximum of 100 attendees.”
  • On July 13, Gov. Newsom banned ALL WORSHIP for any county on the County Monitoring List, which covers most of the state’s population. This “no worship” ban includes private homes with anyone who does not live in the home.
  • On August 31, Gov. Newsom issued his “Blueprint” that even more clearly reveals his discrimination against churches and worship for most of the state. In every one of his newly minted “Tiers,” he gives preferential treatment to nonreligious gatherings like museums, gyms, fitness centers, family entertainment centers, cardrooms, satellite wagering facilities, laundromats, malls, destination centers, swap meets and more.
  • Gov. Newsom’s orders affect all churches and places of worship, even home Bible studies and fellowships. It is even worse than “no singing” because all in-person worship is banned, including home Bible studies and fellowship with anyone who does not live in the home.

It is criminal in California to go to your neighbor’s home to pray with them or have a Bible study! Let this sink in – you can go to prison in CA for worshipping.

We have filed an emergency petition at the Supreme Court.

Earlier this year, we went to the Supreme Court on our Illinois Romanian church case. Gov. J.B. Pritzker backed down a few hours before he had to respond. So, the Court did not need to rule. But NOW the Supreme Court has a different member – Amy Coney Barrett. These serious restrictions in CA combined with a change of the Court led us to file now.

Our emergency request with the Supreme Court aims to stay Newsom’s heavy hand against churches until such time as our Court of Appeals case is resolved. The injunction would prevent Newsom and others from taking any actions against our client pastors, churches and parishioners.

If ordered by the Court, this injunction would also protect all the other churches and churchgoers in California targeted with 1,000 dollars per day fines and one year in jail per incidence for merely living their Christian faith. And such an order will send a strong message to other states.

Freedom is in peril -- and Liberty Counsel is leading the defense of pastors and churches.

Liberty Counsel is defending pastors and churches in multiple state and federal lawsuits against lawless governors illegally shutting down churches and silencing Christians. We continue to also advise thousands of pastors.

Liberty Counsel’s staff and attorneys also continue to provide support, research and legal efforts in the fight for truth and transparency in the highly contested and fraud-ridden 2020 presidential election.

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Mat Staver
Founder and Chairman

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