Home California Center for American Liberty Sues Gov. Newsom Over Church Ban

Center for American Liberty Sues Gov. Newsom Over Church Ban

by ECT

San Francisco — The Center for American Liberty, in coordination with the Dhillon Law Group, filed a First Amendment lawsuit against Governor Gavin Newsom, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and named county officials, in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, for criminalizing the free exercise of religion.

Click here to view and download the complaint.

The suit comes days after the Center for American Liberty threatened County Supervisors with such a lawsuit. In response, both San Bernardino County and Riverside Counties made limited accommodations for practicing Christians on Easter weekend, only.

Today’s suit, Gish v. Newsom, demands religious liberty beyond Easter Sunday. Among clients represented is Rev. James Moffatt, a pastor in Riverside County who was fined $1,000 for holding a Palm Sunday service.

“Criminalizing individual participation at a church, synagogue, mosque, temple, or other house of worship clearly violates the First Amendment,” said Harmeet K. Dhillon, Chief Executive Officer for the Center for American Liberty. “The state and localities have granted sweeping exceptions to the shutdown orders for favored businesses and professions, while specifically targeting people of faith and decreeing to religious institutions that it is ‘good enough’ that they be allowed to offer streaming video services. The state does not get to dictate the method of worship to the faithful.”

“This past weekend both San Bernardino County and Riverside County allowed practicing Christians to congregate, in varying capacities, outside their homes to celebrate Easter,” Dhillon said. “While giving in to criticism and respecting Christians’ right to religious liberty on Easter Sunday, was undeniably the right decision by County Supervisors, the government may selectively license religious liberty to Christians on Easter Sunday.”

“California is a diverse state with many religions represented. The Constitution demands that all must be afforded the ability to practice their faith according to the dictates of conscience, and be treated no less favorably than any other organization or person subject to the current shutdown orders,” Dhillon said. “Where government picks and chooses who gets exemptions and who doesn’t, according to entirely arbitrary and opaque criteria, this offends the Constitution and causes irreparable harm. Not every person of faith has access in California to a broadband connection, a computer, and the technical skills to stream a service. Not every faith organization has the ability to produce high-tech services – nor should they be required to. If a Californian is able to go to Costco or the local marijuana shop or liquor store and buy goods in a responsible, socially distanced manner, then he or she must be allowed to practice their faith using the same precautions.”

About the Center for American Liberty
The Center for American Liberty is a nonprofit litigation, education, and public policy organization dedicated to advancing Free Speech rights and Civil Liberties. Founded by Harmeet Dhillon in 2019, the Center for American Liberty offers pro-bono and low-bono legal representation to Americans whose fundamental freedoms are violated

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HHERGB Apr 13, 2020 - 5:08 pm

Gavin Newsome is a handsome queerr…

Star Trek Nerd Apr 13, 2020 - 6:51 pm

Darwin Awards.

George Apr 14, 2020 - 5:35 am

Because we cannot expect good Christians to consider their possible effect on others. No social contract nonsense for them. Why…they got RIGHTS

Jg Apr 14, 2020 - 9:44 am

Religious practices can be done safely as a grocery store visit or a visit to Costco. They should sue the hell out of Newsom. We need to stop these socialists from stealing our freedom and rights.

CarrotCakeMan Apr 14, 2020 - 12:09 pm

Hogwash, we all know about the unsanitary practices at “worship services.” There is no comparison between that activity which could take place online, and the actual need for food. The Christianists (that’s a fascist political movement, not a real religion) are merely playing up to the orange virus. They DO NOT have some imagined special right to spread COVID as well as death.

CarrotCakeMan Apr 14, 2020 - 12:14 pm

This group is associated with an extreme right-wing group, the Liberty Counsel, which seeks to deny LGBT Americans civil rights, and force the “Christianist” fascist political agenda onto Americans. There is no comparison between “Christianism” and genuine Christianity. Christianism is a fascist right-wing political agenda that hides behind Christianity in an attempt to evade taxation, public scrutiny and criticism, by insisting we “dare not defy” what they claim their deity “demands,” but that modern bible scholars have debunked.

Rose Apr 14, 2020 - 9:32 pm

You’d think that in the 21st century, people would have had enough education to stop these fairy tale nonsense religious dogma beliefs! No wonder they are called “SHEEP!” Baaaa baaaa!

Dawn Apr 15, 2020 - 2:02 am

Religious freaks are at it again! Can’t resist putting others in danger!

Jg Apr 15, 2020 - 10:10 am

Nobody is twisting anyone’s arm to attend Church or not. There also can be social distance rules attached for attendance. Freedom of religion is a right and has been since our country was founded. Atheists have a right too.

I don’t attend church but I respect the constitution of the United States of America. When we give up our rights, we are doomed to socialism and/or communism. Believe me you do not want to go that way.

jeshua Apr 16, 2020 - 6:49 am

Romans: 13: 1-10
13 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

Jg Apr 16, 2020 - 10:54 am

Let it be said, Let it be written…….

By the way, they need to ad a lawsuit for giving free money to illegal individuals.

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