States Lost Church Lockdown Lawsuits
There were many states that placed a lot of restrictions on their churches. Some of those restrictions included capacity limits, strict social distancing measures, and no singing or chanting (reciting) requirements. Many didn’t allow indoor worship.
Due to the harsh restrictions, many churches sued their state for unlawfully overstepping legal legislation. One of those churches was Capitol Hill Baptist Church (CHBC), pastored by Mark Dever. CHBC sued the District of Columbia for restrictions that banned them from worshiping together as an entire church body. The District of Columbia was ordered to pay $220,000, which covered CHBC’s legal fees. The city agreed “not enforce any current or future COVID-19 restrictions to prohibit CHBC from gathering as one congregation in the District of Columbia.”
The State of Nevada agreed to pay $175,000 to cover Las Vegas’ Calvary Chapel Lone Mountain’s legal fees from fighting the state’s capacity limits that were enforced on worship gatherings.
Pastor John MacArthur and Grace Community Church sued the State of California for enforcing what they called “unconstitutional and onerous” regulations put upon them that violate California’s constitution. A final judgement has yet to be awarded.
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Santa Clara County Churches in California, rejecting a ban the county put in place on indoor worship services. The ruling came a few months after SCOTUS erased lower court rulings in Colorado and New Jersey that enforced state public health orders on indoor worship gatherings.
Harvest Rock Church of Pasadena, California, was awarded $1.35 million from California Gov. Gavin Newsom after a judge said the state cannot place pandemic restrictions on houses of worship. The amount awarded covered the church’s attorney fees.