Two weeks after he issued an order prohibiting Grace Community Church from holding indoor services, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff has ruled that the church is entitled to a trial on the constitutionality of the shutdown orders before he holds them in contempt.
The church argues that the shutdown orders violate its constitutional rights, and has continued meeting despite Judge Beckloff’s orders that prohibit the church from conducting indoor services until the case is resolved.
In other words, the church is in violation of the court order, but the county cannot seek to hold the church in contempt until the constitutionality of the order is determined.
This may seem confusing, but the rationale is that contempt of court is a quasi-criminal act, and the court cannot punish someone for breaking a regulation if that regulation is not constitutional.
The next hearing on the case is November 13, 2020.