Governors across the country are using the COVID-19 pandemic to grab power. Their power grabs reveal a lot about each governor. These governors act like they now have a carte blanche to disregard our Constitution. Take, for example, Nevada. The governor of Nevada, Steve Sisolak, issued a directive that allowed bars, casinos, and gyms to host crowds of up to 50% of their maximum building capacity, but at the same time, capped houses of worship at 50 people.
The governor cited “public health” and “economic reasons” for the religious discrimination, restricting Nevadan’s constitutional rights.
Calvary Chapel in Nevada wants to host 90 worshippers, half of their capacity, but not the thousands of people that a gigantic casino could lawfully host under the state directive. Calvary Chapel sued for their right to worship safely, following all the CDC guidelines and then adding additional precautions themselves.
The US Supreme Court shockingly just allowed this discrimination to continue, refusing to issue a temporary injunction against the state’s discrimination against religion. As Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in his short and powerful dissent, “In Nevada, it seems to be better to be in entertainment than in religion.”
Here is another case of the Court refusing to take swift action to uphold a core constitutional right, our freedom of religion. As Justice Gorsuch wrote, “But there is no world in which the Constitution permits Nevada to favor Caesars Palace over Calvary Chapel.”
CALVARY CHAPEL DAYTON VALLEY
STEVE SISOLAK, GOVERNOR OF NEVADA
“The Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion. It says nothing about the freedom to play craps or black-jack, to feed tokens into a slot machine, or to engage in any other game of chance. But the Governor of Nevada apparently has different priorities.”
“We have a duty to defend the Constitution, and even a public health emergency does not absolve us of that responsibility.”
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