The Pacific Justice Institute has announced it has secured a six-figure damage award for five California churches that were closed by Santa Clara County’s Covid-19 public health orders.
The churches represented – in a joint effort with the Cannistraci Law Firm and McAllister Law Group – are Gateway City Church, The Home Church, The Spectrum Church, Orchard Community Church, and Trinity Bible Church.
On February 26, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the emergency writ of injunction in a 6-3 decision, allowing the churches to open their doors to hold indoor worship services. The Supreme Court agreed with Pacific Justice that the County’s orders discriminated against churches by treating establishments such as grocery stores and airports more favorably.
As CBN News reported last December, Santa Clara County is still defying the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling and is targeting a San Jose church and its pastor with massive fines for holding church services in 2020 during the pandemic.
Calvary Chapel and its pastor Mike McClure are facing $2.8 million in fines for not shutting down the church’s worship services and for allowing people to come to pray at their building in person after Gov. Gavin Newsom’s ordered statewide church closures in 2020.
County officials are still demanding the church pay the fines, arguing that it violated its health orders regardless of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in five separate cases that the government cannot treat houses of worship as second-class institutions with harsh penalties and restrictions that exceed the restrictions placed on “essential” businesses….