A Nevada church has requested to be allowed to open at 50 per cent like casinos but the Supreme Court has rejected the plea.
US.- The Supreme Court has rejected an emergency plea from a Nevada church asking to be allowed to operate under the same Covid-19 rules as business such as casinos.
Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley had complained to the court that while Nevada businesses may operate at 50 per cent of capacity, places of worship in the state may only host religious gatherings of up to 50 people, no matter the capacity of the building.
The Christian church compared its situation to that of casinos in the state arguing that the differences in conditions were contradictory. It said it wanted to allow as many as 90 people to attend its religious services, insisting it would require churchgoers to wear face masks and stay six feet apart from one another.
Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch argued: “A casino, too, may cater to hundreds at once, with perhaps six people huddled at each craps table here and a similar number gathered around every roulette wheel there. But churches, synagogues, and mosques are banned from admitting more than 50 worshipers – no matter how large the building, how distant the individuals, how many wear face masks, no matter the precautions at all.”
Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh said: “The risk of Covid-19 transmission is at least as high at restaurants, bars, casinos, and gyms as it is at religious services. Indeed, people congregating in restaurants, bars, casinos, and gyms often linger at least as long as they do at religious services.”
Lawyers for the state had argued that religious services require tougher limits than commercial establishments because of the duration of services and proximity between people. They said: “Sadly, the types of communal, interpersonal gatherings that put Nevada citizens most at risk for spreading the virus include larger, in-person religious services – which are a major source of Covid-19 infections”.