So now politicians are forced to defend policies that protect their constituents in the courtroom. 

Courtesy of ABC News

A federal appeals court has backed California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order banning in-church services to blunt the spread of coronavirus, rejecting an argument from clerics that the governor is treading on their First Amendment right to free exercise of their religious beliefs.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a split 2-1 ruling denying the request for a temporary restraining order against Newsom’s in-church service ban filed this month by the South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista, California.

The ruling was issued late on Friday, the same day President Donald Trump demanded governors nationwide allow churches, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship to reopen immediately.

“The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now, for this weekend. If they don’t do it, I will override the governors,” Trump said as his administration released detailed guidance on how religious institutions can safely reopen amid the virus that has killed nearly 100,000 people and infected more than 1.6 million in the United States. “In America we need more prayer, not less.”

It is unclear what legal authority the president has to overrule a governor and the White House could not cite a specific provision that would give Trump that power.

In its ruling in the California case, the federal appellate judges who sided with Newsom found the state’s action of shuttering houses of worship due to a health emergency does not “infringe upon or restrict practices because of their religious motivation” and does not “in a selective manner impose burdens only on conduct motivated by religious belief.”

I hate that they phrased it as “unclear” whether Trump has the right to overrule a governor.

He DOES NOT have that right.

As this decision proves Governor Newsom is well within his rights to create policies that protect the people of his state, even if they do not appreciate or agree with them.