California churches back at Supreme Court amid struggle over pandemic restrictions

Two California churches on Tuesday returned to the Supreme Court after lower courts upheld Gov. Gavin Newsom’s pandemic worship restrictions.

The churches, South Bay United Pentecostal and Harvest Rock, argued that Newsom’s orders, which banned all indoor services, violated the Constitution’s free exercise clause. Both churches have been at the Supreme Court already over this issue: South Bay was denied an emergency injunction last spring, and Harvest Rock received one in December after Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s addition to the court swung its thinking in a more favorable direction.

In both cases, the Supreme Court declined to weigh in on the merits of the cases until
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