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South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom

Pending petition
Docket No. Op. Below Argument Opinion Vote Author Term
20-746 S.D. Cal. TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD

Issues: (1) Whether California Governor Gavin Newsom’s lockdown orders and reopening restrictions under the “Blueprint” framework, placing strict limitations, including closures, on all places of worship in California, violates South Bay’s First Amendment right to free exercise of religion; and (2) whether strict scrutiny is the proper standard of review for challenges to state and county restrictions upon free-exercise-of-religion rights during a pandemic, or whether Jacobson v. Massachusetts imposes extra limitations to the Supreme Court’s established line of free-exercise jurisprudence during a pandemic.

DateProceedings and Orders (key to color coding)
Nov 24 2020Petition for a writ of certiorari before judgment filed. (Response due December 30, 2020)
Dec 24 2020Waiver of right of respondents Gavin Newsom, et al. to respond filed.
Dec 30 2020Waiver of right of respondents William D. Gore, Helen Robbins-Meyer, Dr. Wilma J. Wooten to respond filed.
Jan 06 2021DISTRIBUTED for Conference of 1/22/2021.
Jan 14 2021Response Requested. (Due February 16, 2021)
Jan 19 2021Motion to extend the time to file a response from February 16, 2021 to March 18, 2021, submitted to The Clerk.
Jan 20 2021Response to motion from petitioner South Bay United Pentecostal Church, et al. filed.
Jan 22 2021Motion to extend the time to file a response is granted and the time is extended to and including March 18, 2021.
Jan 25 2021Application (20A136) for injunctive relief, submitted to Justice Kagan.
Jan 26 2021Response to application (20A136) requested by Justice Kagan, due Friday, January 29, by 5 p.m. ET.
Jan 26 2021Letter Re: Notice of Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal Ruling of South Bay United Pentecostal Church, et al. submitted.
Jan 27 2021Motion for leave to file amici brief and motion for leave to file brief in compliance with Rule 33.2 filed by Americans United for Separation of Church and State, et al.
Jan 29 2021Response to application from respondents Gavin Newsom, Governor of California, et al. filed.
Jan 29 2021Response to application from respondents Wilma J. Wooten, et al. filed.
Jan 29 2021Motion for leave to file amicus brief and motion for leave to file brief in compliance with Rule 33.2 filed by The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.
Jan 30 2021Letter of applicants South Bay United Pentecostal Church, et al. filed.
Jan 30 2021Reply of applicants South Bay United Pentecostal Church, et al. filed.
Feb 05 2021Application (20A136) referred to the Court.
Feb 05 2021The application for injunctive relief presented to JUSTICE KAGAN and by her referred to the Court is granted in part. Respondents are enjoined from enforcing the Blueprint’s Tier 1 prohibition on indoor worship services against the applicants pending disposition of the petition for a writ of certiorari. The application is denied with respect to the percentage capacity limitations, and respondents are not en-joined from imposing a 25% capacity limitation on indoor worship services in Tier 1. The application is denied with respect to the prohibition on singing and chanting during indoor services. This order is without prejudice to the applicants presenting new evidence to the District Court that the State is not applying the percentage capacity limitations or the prohibition on singing and chanting in a generally applicable manner. Should the petition for a writ of certiorari be denied, this order shall terminate automatically. In the event the petition for a writ of certiorari is granted, the order shall terminate upon the sending down of the judgment of this Court. JUSTICE THOMAS and JUSTICE GORSUCH would grant the application in full. JUSTICE ALITO would grant the application with respect to all of the capacity restrictions on indoor worship services and the prohibition against indoor singing and chanting, and would stay for 30 days an injunction against the percentage attendance caps and the prohibition against indoor singing and chanting. (See Detached Opinion). CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS, concurring in the partial grant of application for injunctive relief. (Detached Opinion). JUSTICE BARRETT, with whom JUSTICE KAVANAUGH joins, concurring in the partial grant of application for injunctive relief. (Detached Opinion). Statement of JUSTICE GORSUCH, with whom JUSTICE THOMAS and JUSTICE ALITO join. (Detached Opinion). JUSTICE KAGAN, with whom