Back to SCOTUS on Behalf of CA Churches...

Dec 11, 2020

We're back before the U.S. Supreme Court this week, after an Obama judicial appointee DEFIED the Court in one of the most egregious First Amendment freedom of religion cases in modern history. Read on to learn what is next in the fight for religious freedom. - Mat

Liberty Counsel has filed another emergency application to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry. This quick return to the High Court follows an Obama-appointed district court judge's refusal to follow the Supreme Court's order.

The NO WORSHIP ban by CA Gov. Gavin Newsom, coupled with threats of criminal charges, is the most severe restriction of First Amendment rights in the nation.
The High Court already granted cert, vacated the lower court orders involving the emergency petition of the churches and directed the district court to reconsider and apply the High Court's decision granting an injunction for churches and synagogues in New York.

However, after Wednesday's hearing in district court, the Obama-appointed judge failed to abide by the High Court's instructions.

At 5:00 PM Eastern Time, December 8, the district court held a
ten-minute hearing, refusing to even address the requested relief. Instead, the district court accepted the request of Gov. Newsom to kick the can down the road so that the governor could file yet another brief followed by a hearing on December 18.

The district court was wholly unconcerned about the irreparable harm or addressing the High Court's decision in Catholic Diocese

Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry filed this action in the district court on July 17, 2020. The district court delayed issuing a written order until September 16, thus preventing the Circuit Court of Appeals from addressing the emergency request. The delay by the district court was 59 days!

The judge's desire to further delay this case would only impose the very irreparable harm that the Supreme Court found in the New York case Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo and Agudath Israel v. Cuomo. Every Justice has affirmed our right to return to Court to request relief.

The Supreme Court has already issued to this, and every other court, a roadmap that leads to one destination — that the restrictions on churches and places of worship in California violate the First Amendment Free Exercise Clause.
In the Catholic Dioceses case, the High Court stated unequivocally: "There can be no question that the challenged restrictions, if enforced, will cause irreparable harm."

As you may recall, Harvest Rock Church has 162 California affiliates, and Harvest International Ministry has over 65,000 affiliates around the world. The impact of this case on American AND worldwide religious freedom cannot be underestimated.
Gov. Newsom's COVID orders have read like an affirmation of communist-style atheistic tyranny, banning 99.9% of Californians from worshipping God. Not only did the governor's orders ban worship, but they also even made it illegal for Californians to have a pastor over for prayer, or friends over to study the Bible!

Pastor Ahn, Harvest Rock Church's staff and all churchgoers continue to face cumulating daily criminal charges, punishable by one year in prison and $1,000 in fines each day the church remained open.

The federal district judge has blatantly defied the High Court orders regarding these California churches. Unfortunately, such delays have become a pattern with this district court, as can be witnessed in the Harvest Rock timeline above. However, in wise anticipation of such a circumstance, the High Court left the door open for resolution. And thus, we have filed again before the Supreme Court.
But this presents additional challenges to Liberty Counsel. These new rulings in effect grant us a "key" of sorts to unlock the cells in which these tyrannical governors want to place pastors, churches, and parishioners. At least Colorado got the message. On Monday, Gov. Jared Polis removed all attendance caps on places of worship. This is a direct result of our win at the Supreme Court last week.

More suits will need to be filed and litigated to free the captives. Our Illinois Romanian Churches case and our California Harvest Rock Church case are both before the Supreme Court.

We need your help to continue this battle. This has been the most expansive litigation year in Liberty Counsel's 31-year history. With so many critical battles to defend America's Judeo-Christian values before us, our resources are stretched further than ever before.

Thankfully, a new Year-End Challenge Grant has been established to DOUBLE THE IMPACT of your gifts. Every gift between now and the end of the year will be effectively doubled. Please, select here to give as generously as you can. Our freedom truly hangs in the balance!
Finally, please continue to be in prayer for our beloved country, the Judeo-Christian values that make America great... and that the gates of hell shall not prevail against America's churches!

Mat Staver
Founder and Chairman
P.S. NEW YEAR-END CHALLENGE GRANT! As I mentioned above, we have a new Challenge Grant that will effectively DOUBLE the impact of your donations between now and the end of the year!