“We believe that the Constitution calls for California to do more to accommodate religious worship, including in Stage 2 of the Reopening Plan,” the warning letter read.
“Simply put, there is no pandemic exception to the U.S. Constitution and its Bill of Rights,” the letter added correctly.
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From The Hill:
The Department of Justice (DOJ) warned California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) in a Tuesday letter that his reopening plan for the state discriminates against churches.
Eric S. Dreiband, the head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said in the letter that the governor should permit in-person worship gatherings in the second phase of his four-part reopening.
Currently, Newsom’s plan indicates churches can reopen in the third phase.
But Dreiband said the governor shows an “unequal treatment of faith communities” in the plan by preventing them from gathering in person, while other secular businesses like restaurants are permitted to reopen earlier, with social-distancing guidelines.
“California has not shown why interactions in offices and studios of the entertainment industry, and in-person operations to facilitate nonessential ecommerce, are included on the list as being allowed with social distancing where telework is not practical, while gatherings with social distancing for purposes of religious worship are forbidden,” the letter reads.
DOJ’s letter to CA Gov. Newsom on civil rights and the covid-19 pandemic.
“We believe that the Constitution calls for California to do more to accommodate religious worship, including in Stage 2 of the Reopening Plan.”
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4:57 AM – May 20, 2020
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