The Supreme Court came out this past Friday with what really should be considered a landmark case. The case was Tandon v. Newsom. At the heart of the matter was whether or not the State of California could deny religious institutions indoor events, such as Bible Study, and worship service if there were other indoor events that were permitted.
In the past the high court has basically said that religious activities were viewed differently from other “indoor activities”, even though religion is protected under the First Amendment, actions and events that are religious were deemed to be different than actual “religion”. In Tandon v. Newsom, the State was slapped down because religious activities and religion are viewed as one.
Basically, there were four points why Gavin Newsom’s law was deemed unconstitutional and why the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals was wrong. The first was the “comparator” of religious activities and religion, as outlined above. The second was that the Supreme Court said the reason people gather inside is irrelevant. People gathering inside, whether there for a dinner, or Bible Study, are still inside. The reason doesn’t matter, even though the 9th Circuit said it did. The third reason was that the State of California and not the church bears the burden of proof in this case. Usually it’s the plaintiff that has to prove the charges. In Tandon v. Newsom, the state was trying to make the church prove that having indoor religious meetings and events wasn’t a public health risk. They basically shifted the burden of proof to the defendant. That’s not right. And fourthly, parties are entitled to relief as long as the case isn’t moot. This refers to the ever-changing rules regarding COVID, and the fact that Cali was opening bars and restaurants, and not churches, then closing bars and restaurants and re-writing the criteria for events and activities being opened. So the case wasn’t moot.
What’s nice to see here is that we finally have a Supreme Court that is willing to accept that “Freedom OF religion” doesn’t mean “Freedom FROM religion”. And we can thank the addition of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the bench for that. A year ago, this would have been a 5-4 decision going the other way. But with Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, and Coney Barrett’s replacing her, this has been a 5-4 decision based on what the Founding Fathers would have said. Joining the decent was Steven Breyer, Elena Kagan, Sonya Sotomayor, and the court’s newest liberal, Chief Justice, John Roberts. What is interesting is Roberts’ loss of power as the Chief Justice ever since Coney Barrett joined the Court. I’m going to go out on a limb here. My thinking is that John Roberts may be the next Justice to retire from the high court…not Steven Breyer as all Democrats want (to keep the seat liberal).
It’s interesting to see that in this screwed up time when Democrats are afraid of losing power in Congress and are clawing and scratching to do anything to keep that power, up to and including packing the court, and changing all sorts of rules just because they want to hold on to their power, it’s refreshing to see the high court turn their nose at liberalism in all it’s forms. The snowflake liberals of America can’t run roughshod over a group that has the final say in the Constitutionality of laws in our country. And it’s about time!
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!