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Supreme Court: We Mean What We Say on Religious Liberty

(PJ Media) It’s rare that a Supreme Court decision provides hints of impatience or frustration among the justices with members of lower federal courts, but that was the case late Friday with Ritesh Tandon, et al. v. Gavin Newsom (2021)...

The same impatience is clear throughout the decision, beginning with the first paragraph of the decision’s analysis: “The Ninth Circuit’s failure to grant an injunction pending appeal was erroneous. This Court’s decisions have made the following points clear.”

The majority then walked the Ninth Circuit through a Constitution 101 explanation of what the lower court should not require being reminded:

“First, government regulations are not neutral and generally applicable, and therefore trigger strict scrutiny under the Free Exercise Clause, whenever they treat any comparable secular activity more favorably than religious exercise … It is no answer that a State treats some comparable secular businesses or other activities as poorly as or even less favorably than the religious exercise at issue.”