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9th Circuit sympathetic to Nevada churches in fight over COVID rules – Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada 2020-12-08 22:03:00 –

John Rocher / AP

Norma Urrabazo is praying in a face mask before speaking at the Easter Drive-in Service at the International Church of Las Vegas on Sunday, April 12, 2020 in Las Vegas. Leaders of the Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley in the countryside of Lyon County, Nebushur, told the Federal Court of Appeals that they would treat them more severely in violation of casinos and other secular activities. 19 We are appealing to overturn the restrictions. US Constitution.

Reno — Two churches in Nevada that treat churches differently from casinos and other mundane businesses due to state COVID-19 restrictions that violate the First Amendment to the United States on Tuesday. It seems that three members of the US Court of Appeals sympathize with the lawyer’s allegations against.

San Francisco’s Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturns previous district court rulings from lawyers at Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley in eastern Reno and Cavary Chapel Lone Mountain in Las Vegas in favor of the strict attendance limits set by Governor Steve Sisorak. I heard a video of a discussion asking for that. About the scale of indoor worship service.

They say that churches must follow the same standards that casinos, bars, restaurants, etc. can operate on a percentage of capacity (currently 25%) rather than hard caps.

“Calvary Chapel Lawn Mountain wants an equal position,” said its chief attorney, Cigarchata.

All three judges quoted a recent US Supreme Court ruling that handed victory to a church in a similar battle for religious freedom in New York and California. Each expressed skepticism about the various Nevada debates made by lawyers to justify the different treatments of the church and secular business.

“I think it’s more than skepticism. I think the Supreme Court has made it very clear when treating bicycle repair shops, liquor stores, etc. in a much better way than places of worship. You are the first amendment to the applicable constitution. It does not meet the Article test, “Mark Bennett said.

Judge Milan Smith added later:

“What they are saying is that the place of worship cannot be treated better than retailers, casinos, etc. because it violates the First Amendment.”

In a 5-4 decision in July, the Supreme Court issued a temporary order blocking the enforcement of the then-effective 50-person limit in Nevada while the appeal was pending in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. I rejected the request of the Dayton Valley Church. Since then, the Church has requested the High Court to reconsider its ruling.

On November 26, the Supreme Court banned New York from imposing certain restrictions on attendance at churches and synagogues in areas designated as heavily affected by the virus.

On December 3, the High Court ordered a lower federal court to reconsider California’s restrictions on indoor religious services in the light of a New York ruling. The state’s new curfew, which is constitutionally protected, allows outdoor religious services and protests.

The judge dismissed the federal district court’s decision dismissing the challenge to the restrictions from the Pasadena-based Harvest Rock Church and the Harvest International Department, which has more than 160 churches throughout the state.

Nevada Secretary of State Craig Newby told the District Court of Appeals on Tuesday that there are only 10 people in a zone where religious meetings are much more restrictive, the virus is widespread in New York, and is totally banned. So he said Nevada is different from New York and California. Most indoor worship services in California.

The San Francisco Circuit Committee has indicated that it is likely that the case will be returned to the US District Court in Nevada for further consideration, at least under the leadership of the High Court’s California decision.

Mr Newbie said this was a better remedy than overturning a previous ruling in a lower court that refused to grant an emergency injunction in an attempt by the Church to block the state’s COVID-19 directive.

As in New York, the specific restrictions in question in legal proceedings no longer apply. In Nevada, the church appealed in May over Sisorak’s directive to limit all indoor religious gatherings to a maximum of 50, regardless of the capacity of the church.

On September 30, he set a limit of 250 or 50% of capacity, whichever was less. And on October 24, we returned to the upper limit of 50 people or 25% of capacity, whichever is less.

Nevada church attorneys say that certain restrictions are not important. The Fire Service Act of Lone Mountain has a capacity of 700 people. The Dayton Valley has a capacity of 200 people.

“Whatever the current or future directive, the principles must be treated equally,” said David Cortland, an attorney at the Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of the Dayton Valley Church.

According to Newbie, casinos are a particularly different category due to their tight regulation by the Nevada Game Rating Committee, subject to training requirements and on-site COVID-19 testing, and improved enforcement capabilities. He said the nature of church worship made them particularly vulnerable to the spread of the virus.

Smith ridiculed the argument.

“I read it in your brief description, and I couldn’t stop laughing. In reality, when all these people are in the casino, they pay attention to any rules. No. I don’t care how well regulated it is, so I don’t know how to justify dealing with a religion worse than a casino, “he said.

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