Today, Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry filed a motion to the federal district court of California against Governor Gavin Newsom’s attempt to delay tomorrow’s hearing for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction regarding his unconstitutional orders.
The Supreme Court has issued to this, and every other, court a roadmap that leads to one destination – that the restrictions on churches and places of worship in California violate the First Amendment Free Exercise Clause. Indeed, the restrictions in California are worse than those enjoined in Roman Catholic Diocese v. Cuomo, No. 20A87, 2020 WL 694835 (U.S. Nov. 25, 2020). There, the High Court stated unequivocally: “There can be no question that the challenged restrictions, if enforced, will cause irreparable harm.”
Governor Newsom’s request to move the hearing to December 18, which includes more Sunday services, would only impose the very irreparable harm that the Supreme Court found in Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo and Agudath Israel v. Cuomo.
The High Court granted cert, vacated the lower court orders involving the emergency petition of the California churches, and directed the district court to reconsider in light of the High Court’s decision in granting an injunction for churches and synagogues in New York.
However, the restrictions against places of worship in California are more severe than those in New York. Governor Gavin Newsom’s orders ban ALL in-person worship for 99.1 percent of Californians.
Harvest Rock Church has multiple campuses in California, including in Pasadena, Los Angeles, Irvine and Corona. Harvest International Ministries has 162 member churches throughout the state. Irreparable harm is being suffered every day as the churches remain subject to the unconstitutional restrictions, coupled with daily criminal threats, fines, and closure.
The Code Enforcement Division for the City of Pasadena and the Criminal Prosecutor have threatened criminal charges, fines, and closure for being open for worship against the governor’s orders and local health orders. The letters threaten up to one year in prison, daily criminal charges and $1,000 fines against the pastors, staff, and parishioners.
Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “Governor Newsom is trying another tyrannical trick to delay the inevitable ruling by the High Court. The Supreme Court has issued its Constitutional roadmap for places of worship that leads to the inevitable conclusion: Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive edicts violate the First Amendment.”