A 9th Circuit 3-judge panel has refused to block a California COVID-19 in-home Bible study restriction imposed by Governor Gavin Newsom. In a 2-1 decision issued March 30, the appellate court said that the state had “reasonably distinguished” between in-home and business activities because people at home Bible studies are “more likely to be involved in prolonged conversations,” private homes are “typically smaller and less ventilated than commercial establishments” and it is harder for law enforcement to require mask-wearing and social distancing at homes. The dissenting judge noted that the state could regulate “proximity, length, and interaction” of private gatherings without preventing them altogether. The decision should be appealed to the Supreme Court.  Tandon v. Newsom, (9th Cir., March 30, 2021)

 

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