The Supreme Court ruled on the side of the Center for American Liberty in conjunction with the Dhillon Law Group Inc. on Monday night to overturn lower court rulings that refused to grants injunctive relief to several churches in southern California.
The case, Gish et al. v. Newsom et al., became the first challenging California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s restrictions on church gatherings and was filed in April of last year, refuting orders declaring religious institutions nonessential. Both the federal district courts and the 9th Circuit, however, denied injunctions for the churches located in San Bernardino and Riverside counties. The Supreme Court has vacated the courts’ earlier rulings and ordered them to review the case following last week’s ruling from the high court, which struck down Newsom’s restrictions on indoor worship and set new standards to guide the lower chambers. The Center for American Liberty also served as co-counsel to last week’s case.
“California’s temples of commerce have remained open while our temples of God have been forced closed,” said Harmeet Dhillon, CEO of the group spearheading litigation. “This was the first lawsuit filed for religious liberty during the COVID-19 pandemic and the Center for American Liberty fought tirelessly to liberate God-fearing Californians from second class citizen status and the constant fear of fines and arrest.”
The Supreme Court rulings of the last week mark the latest blows to the state’s Democratic governor now facing a likely recall election provoked by unrelenting lockdowns. Opposition organizers are nearing the threshold of signatures needed to force a recall referendum.
Organizers of the effort need 1.8 million Californians — 1,495,709 valid signatures plus a buffer to ensure the threshold is met after some signatures will undoubtedly be disqualified — to sign their petition to force a recall election by mid-March, giving them just one month to reach their goal. The petition has already garnered more than 1.4 million signatures, according to the campaign’s official website, RecallGavin2020.com.