The SCOTUS Decision of May 29, 2020
The decision rendered by the Supreme Court of the United States May 29, 2020 reveals I believe, just how complex the issue of the right to assemble is under the duress of a pandemic. The justices, for the most part, split along ideological lines. The liberal-leaning justices voted in favor of the authority of the governor of California. The conservative-leaning ones voted in favor of the church’s first amendment right to assemble and worship. The swing vote was John Roberts, a moderate leaning conservative.
In Justice Roberts’ opinion he said, “Although California’s guidelines place restrictions on places of worship, those restrictions appear consistent with the free exercise clause of the First Amendment,”
“Similar or more severe restrictions apply to comparable secular gatherings, including lectures, concerts, movie showings, spectator sports, and theatrical performances, where large groups of people gather in close proximity for extended periods of time,” the chief justice wrote. “And the order exempts or treats more leniently only dissimilar activities, such as operating grocery stores, banks, and laundromats, in which people neither congregate in large groups nor remain in close proximity for extended periods.”
He recognized that severe restrictions have been placed upon all sorts of secular gatherings. The point, whether well-founded or not, is that these sorts of gatherings are easy places for the Chinese virus to spread. The more liberal opinion in our country views this virus as dangerous. The more conservative in our land see it as dangerous but no more so than the typical flu. I disagree with the governor of California just as I do with our own. I do not necessarily see an aggressive posture against churches unless it is that these governors view churches as of lesser importance than movie theaters, concerts and etc.
In the opposing opinion, Justice Kavanaugh wrote that the state cannot, “‘assume the worst when people go to worship but assume the best when people go to work or go about the rest of their daily lives in permitted social settings.’”
I maintain that:
· This virus is not as dangerous as people were led to believe, that
· Liberal governors have chosen to use the fear that has spread to advance an agenda of their own and unrelated to the virus and therefore
· We cannot win this thing merely by legal means, but we must use sound persuasion to convince people to not fear
In the fields for our Lord