Supreme Court denies Colorado churches’ request for relief from COVID-19 worship restrictions


By Michael Gryboski

The United States Supreme Court has rejected a request for emergency relief from two churches that are challenging Colorado’s restrictions on worship in response to COVID-19.

Denver Bible Church in Wheat Ridge and Community Baptist Church in Brighton filed the request in response to several worship restrictions implemented by Colorado Gov. Jared Polis.

Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch rejected the request without comment on Tuesday, with the justice also not referring the case to the full court for consideration.

“The denial follows a series of other recent rulings on the court’s shadow docket in which the court has granted emergency relief to religious groups seeking exemptions from state limits on in-person gatherings,” according to SCOTUSblog.

“Among those rulings was an April decision in Tandon v. Newsom, in which the court ruled 5-4 that group prayer meetings were entitled to an exemption from California’s policy limiting gatherings in homes during the pandemic.”

Last year, the churches sued Colorado over public health orders that they argued, among other things, gave houses of worship fewer exemptions than various secular entities.

U.S. District Judge Daniel Domenico ruled in favor of the churches last October, granting them a preliminary injunction against the public health orders.

Stay Informed - Share the Knowledge