- Court: U.S. Supreme Court Certiorari Granted
- Area(s) of Law: First Amendment
- Date Filed: April 9, 2021
- Case #: 20A151
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Per curium. THE CHIEF JUSTICE would deny the application. JUSTICE KAGAN, with whom JUSTICE BREYER and JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR join, dissenting.
- Full Text Opinion
Petitioners filed an emergency application for injunction requesting to be allowed to hold Bible studies, prayer meetings, and worship services at their homes despite COVID-related restrictions imposed by California. The District Court for the Northern District of California denied petitioners’ motion for a preliminary injunction and subsequently denied petitioners’ motion for an injunction pending appeal. The Ninth Circuit also denied petitioners’ motion for an injunction pending appeal. The Supreme Court held that “[t]he Ninth Circuit’s failure to grant an injunction pending appeal was erroneous.” According to the Court, “[petitioners] are likely to succeed on the merits of their free exercise claim; they are irreparably harmed by the loss of free exercise rights ‘for even minimal periods of time’; and the State has not shown that ‘public health would be imperiled’ by employing less restrictive measures.” Therefore, the Court held that petitioners are “entitled to an injunction pending appeal.”