SCOTUS GVRs South Bay III in light of Tandon v. Newsom

There is (I think) only one more COVID-19 case on the docket.


Today, the Court GVR'd South Bay III in light of Tandom v. Newsom. At long last, I think the California COVID cases are over. Keep in mind that this cert petition was filed way back on November 24, 2020–the day before Roman Catholic Diocese v. Cuomo was decided. Over the past five months, there has been a revolution in Free Exercise Clause jurisprudence.

By my count, there is still one COVID case remaining from Maine: Calvary Chapel v. Mills. The state waived the response on April 26. It should come up for conference soon, and be GVR'd. At that point, I think we will finally be done with COVID cases.

Update: On Friday, California quietly updated its restrictions on houses of worship. As best as I can tell, the ban on singing is now lifted:

Additionally, the restrictions on indoor singing and chanting are recommended only, and are consistent with the recommendations in the guidance on gatherings. Places of worship should discourage audience members from singing, chanting, and similar practices that may increase the likelihood of transmission from contaminated exhaled droplets and aerosols. Performers who are singing, chanting, or playing wind instruments without masks must follow the guidance for live events and performances. The guidance for places of worship and cultural ceremonies is in the process of being updated.

For posterity's sake, I preserved the page as it existed last week.

NEXT: Can California and Texas now resolve their disputes "by self-help measures"?

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  1. How many COVID cases not involving religion? It looks like _Bayley’s v. Mills_ (no right to travel during a pandemic) didn’t get to the Supreme Court.

  2. Courts mostly managed to run out the clock without protecting anyone’s rights from the government.

    Congrats to Karens, to fear mongers, and to public health agencies who caused suffering in order to optimize case numbers on spreadsheets with no apparent regard to whether the cases turned into serious illness nor regard to non-Covid health problems (including deaths) caused by their actions. You got away with it.

    1. Disaffected, anti-social, half-educated clingers are among my favorite culture war casualties.

    2. Good news! Plenty of people have died from COVID.

  3. None of the three Branches of our Federal Government covered itself with glory regarding the handling of the Covid-19 Pandemic. By and large, this crisis was handled at the State and Local government level, which accords with our federal structure. Eventually it may be possible to evaluate the responses by the various jurisdictions, but right now there’s too much partisan and idealogical investment in each strategy to allow any objective evaluation.

    The Supremes did have a clear area of responsibility with respect to religious services and practices. The Court’s response was not a “profile in courage”.

  4. Maybe they should just come right out and say “Listen, our members WANT to get sick, so they can go see Jesus sooner.”

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