U.S. District Court Judge Jesus G. Bernal has ordered California Governor Gavin Newsom to “cover the legal expenses of Liberty Counsel, a Christian legal organization that filed the lawsuit on behalf of Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry against the Democratic governor of California” reports The Blaze.
Governor Newsom “was ordered to pay a $1.35 million settlement to a Los Angeles-area church following a decision by a federal judge. The ruling in favor of a Pasadena church is a rebuke of Newsom’s draconian restrictions on in-person religious worship during the coronavirus pandemic” reports The Blaze.
In a news release, Liberty Counsel said, “Under the settlement, California may no longer impose discriminatory restrictions upon houses of worship…This is the first state-wide permanent injunction in the country against COVID restrictions on churches and places of worship. Under the agreed state-wide permanent injunction, all California churches may hold worship without discriminatory restrictions.”
Founder of Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry, Reverend Che Ahn, said in a statement, “after nearly a yearlong battle defending our religious freedoms, our lawsuit has reached a permanent settlement in our favor.” He added, “I am thrilled to see the complete reversal of the last discriminatory restrictions against churches in California.”
The settlement follows Supreme Court rulings against stringent pandemic lockdowns against religious freedoms. The Blaze reports, “In April, the Supreme Court ruled against Newsom’s strict regulations against religious services. In the 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court proclaimed that California’s restrictions prohibiting three or more households from gathering indoors are likely unconstitutional because the same regulations do not apply to secular activities.”
Newsom’s office said, “Governor Newsom has always put the health and well-being of Californians first, resulting in the lowest positivity rates in the country and over 35 million shots in arms – more than any other state.”