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WASHINGTON, D.C., February 8, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – The U.S. Supreme Court partially sided with California churches Friday, lifting some limits on church services imposed by Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom in the name of public health.

Breitbart reported that the court voted 6-3 to temporarily block Newsom’s ban on in-person services while a case on the merits makes its way through the lower courts. A majority of justices did not, however, vote to do the same to Newsom’s limit of church attendance to 25 percent capacity or his ban on live singing during services.

“Federal courts owe significant deference to politically accountable officials with the background, competence, and expertise to assess public health,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, while noting the extreme nature of California’s actions “appears to reflect not expertise or discretion, but instead insufficient appreciation or consideration of the interests at stake.”

Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, and Sameul Alito wrote that they would have granted full relief to the churches on all points, although Alito conditioned his stance on giving California 30 days to produce evidence that its measures were essential to public health.

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Many small businesses are being forced to close temporarily or even permanently under the strain of a second wave of government-imposed COVID shutdowns.

This is totally and thoroughly wrong...especially when big business, government, and large segments of the professional world are totally insulated from the repercussions of the shutdowns.

Something drastic needs to be done now!

SIGN this urgent petition calling for state legislatures to cut the salaries of governors and mayors who are responsible for closing small businesses by enacting draconian COVID shutdown measures.

The bottom line is that the people imposing shutdown measures need to feel the bite of the restrictions they are imposing on other peoples' livelihoods so that they have a personal incentive to re-open their economies and make accommodation for the survival of small businesses.

Local restaurants, cafes, gyms, clothiers, bookshops, florists, and many more, are being forced to shut their doors, some forever.

Americans who have spent their entire lives building their business - and, taken all of the risk - stand to lose everything.

But, the following are all considered essential and never get shut down: lawyers, lobbyists, politicians, courts, big corporations, and the media...

And, to add insult to injury, some politicians who are imposing these shutdowns, like Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, are actually getting huge pay raises starting in the new year. Cuomo's raise is $25,000 next year alone!

This is utterly scandalous! It is time to say enough is enough!

If small business owners are being CRUSHED by government COVID restrictions, the politicians responsible should also feel the BITE of those restrictions!

This is the only way to make the "political class" understand how devastating their shutdowns truly are to small business owners and their employees.

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, supply millions of jobs to people across the country, and ironically provide the taxes used to fund the programs so loved by most of the governors and mayors.

Because of the nature of small and medium businesses, their owners and workers are on the frontlines of the COVID crisis.

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“When a State so obviously targets religion for differential treatment, our job becomes that much clearer,” Gorsuch wrote for himself and Thomas, noting that California holds most retail establishments to a lesser standard.

Justices Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh dissented from their most conservative colleagues on a more technical angle, with Barrett writing that while she largely agreed with Gorsuch, one of the plaintiff churches had not produced sufficient evidence that it was entitled to relief, in her view.

“California had no right to declare itself a religion-free zone,” responded Eric Rassbach, vice president and senior counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. “When every other state in the country has figured out a way to both allow worship and protect the public health, maybe you are doing it wrong. We are glad this extreme violation of our first freedom has finally come to an end.”

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), meanwhile, is circulating a petition calling bans on signing a “despicable” and “unconstitutional abuse of power.”

“At the ACLJ, we are preparing to potentially file lawsuits on behalf of numerous churches if the state won’t back down,” the group says. “These cases could quickly head to the Supreme Court. We urgently need you to take action with us now.”