In a letter Tuesday, the head of the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division warned California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom that his plan to reopen the state discriminates against churches.
The Justice Department argued that the governor’s current four-part plan to reopen places an “unfair burden” on religious institutions by delaying in-person gatherings until the third phase, which is after schools, restaurants, businesses, and shopping centers are permitted to reopen in the second phase.
This constitutes “unequal treatment of faith communities,” the letter, sent by Assistant Attorney General Eric S. Dreiband, along with four other U.S. attorneys in California, suggested. . .
DOJ’s letter to CA Gov. Newsom on civil rights and the covid-19 pandemic.
“We believe that the Constitution calls for California to do more to accommodate religious worship, including in Stage 2 of the Reopening Plan.” pic.twitter.com/8A4D95QKxs
— KerriKupecDOJ (@KerriKupecDOJ) May 19, 2020
According to the Associated Press, the letter does not threaten immediate legal action but rather serves as a warning to the state that legal action could follow should the state not make any changes. . .
The letter refers to a statement issued by Attorney General William P. Barr in April that warned state and local authorities to be careful not to violate the constitutional rights of Americans while enforcing emergency social distancing measures. The letter made specific reference to Americans’ right to worship. (Read more from “DOJ Sends Warning to California Governor: Stop Discriminating Against Churches” HERE)