“The Cross Culture Christian Center in Lodi and Cornerstone Church in Fresno just won large lawsuits against Gov. Gavin Newsom, whose statewide COVID shutdown orders included churches,” the Globe reported Wednesday. And they aren’t the only two big wins for religious freedom.
After state and federal courts in California issued permanent injunctions prohibiting the state or any of its agencies from ever again imposing discriminatory restrictions on all houses of worship, attorneys for Pastor John MacArthur and Grace Community Church announced that the California and Los Angeles County have agreed to pay $800,000 in “prevailing party” attorneys’ fees.
Los Angeles County will pay $400,000, with an additional $400,000 paid by the State of California as compensation for the attorneys’ fees incurred by Grace and MacArthur, the Thomas Moore Society reported.
The lengthy legal battle started when California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered houses of worship to close in March 2020, in a hasty and sweeping response to fears about the potential spread of COVID-19.
In March 2020, Los Angeles Grace Community Church closed its doors because of the coronavirus pandemic. When it announced plans to re-open in May, a federal court upheld the state’s ban on indoor church services.
Pastor MacArthur slowly opened back up in July 2020, and offered an outdoor tent for services, until thousands of his parishioners were attending. But LA County tried to enforce a limit of 100 on church service attendees – a tiny fraction of the megachurch congregation, the Globe reported last year. more here