SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Today, Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry filed its Supplemental Brief with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals requested supplemental briefing by the parties to address whether (1) the LA County Order affects the case, (2) the churches still challenge the singing and chanting ban, and (3) the churches challenge includes the new Regional Stay-at-Home Order in addition to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s “Blueprint.”
In their Supplemental Briefing the parties agree that the LA County Order (a) does not affect the case, and (b) the County Order cannot supersede the state’s orders, which the most recent version of the LA County Order now states. The churches also pointed out that the LA County Order specifically noted that Pasadena does not come under the LA County Order, that many of the churches in this challenge are outside of LA County, and at any rate, the case is not moot as the Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals regarding churches in Nevada also concluded in those respective lawsuits.
The churches also argue that the LA County Order specifically acknowledges that the county lacks authority to enforce restrictions on houses of worship following the Supreme Court’s decision in Catholic Diocese.
The churches pointed out that the lawsuit has challenged the ban on singing and chanting from the beginning and that this ban applies only to houses of worship. Finally, the churches noted that its challenge includes the Regional Stay-at-Home Order, which incorporates the “Blueprint.”
Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “The handwriting is on the wall that Gov. Gavin Newsom’s discriminatory scheme against houses of worship violates the First Amendment. It is past time to protect the free exercise of religion from the state’s oppressive hand.”
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