Appeals Court Rules California Churches Cannot Resume Services Yet

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Appeals Court Rules California Churches Cannot Resume Services Yet
California Gov. Gavin Newsom previously banned large religious gatherings in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
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A federal appeals court has upheld California Gov. Gavin Newsom's order that places of worship refrain from in-person services. It handed that ruling down Friday, but the governor was set to give guidance on Monday about when and how they can reopen.

Newsom has banned large religious gatherings in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Many people, including the president, disagreed with his decision, saying church services are "essential" and that banning them infringes on the First Amendment right to worship.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that "constitutional standards" do not apply because "we're dealing here with a highly contagious and often fatal disease for which there presently is no known cure."

That same day, President Donald Trump threatened to "override" governors nationwide if they didn't allow places of worship to resume in-person services. Hundreds of pastors in California say they still plan to reopen this weekend regardless of stay-at-home orders.

Under the state's phased reopening plan, places of worship are supposed to open at phase three. The majority of California's 58 counties have just entered phase two, which lets businesses like restaurants and retail stores reopen.