The U.S. Supreme Court refused to intervene on behalf of two Chicago-area churches that said Illinois coronavirus restrictions were so strict they violated the Constitution.
In a three-sentence order Friday, the court pointed to new rules the state issued this week. Starting Saturday, churches won’t be subject to mandatory restrictions and will instead be asked to follow guidance from the state’s health department.
Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church and Logos Baptist Ministries sued over Governor
Illinois said the rules were reasonable given that church services can involve large numbers of people singing and talking in confined spaces, which could potentially spread the Covid-19 virus. A federal appeals court sided with the state.
The Supreme Court is still weighing a similar request lodged by a California church. California has let churches partially reopen, limiting attendance to 100 attendees or 25% of capacity, whichever is lower.
The case acted on Friday is Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church v. Pritzker, 19A1046. The California case is South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom, 19A1044.
(Updates with California case in sixth paragraph)
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