• Nechemyah Levi

Trump Calls Churches Essential Services, CA Says "No"

President Trump (credit: Evan Vucci/AP Photo)

President Trump on Friday said state governors should allow churches, synagogues, mosques and other houses of worship to immediately reopen.

Trump said houses of worship are

"essential places that provide essential services."

Churches have faced restrictions for gatherings and ceremonies as public health officials worked to stop the spread of the virus. Some have chafed at the restrictions.

Trump said governors should allow the houses of worship to re-open "right now for this weekend," and threatened that if they don't, "I will override the governors," he said, adding that "In America, we need more prayer, not less."

It's not clear what authority Trump has to override states who wish to keep houses of worship closed.

The governor of California, Gavin Newsom, stated over the weekend that California is not abiding by the President's proclamation. The case made it to the 9th circuit court of appeals, and favor was given to Newsom. Judges Barry Silverman and Jacqueline Nguyen explained,

“We’re dealing here with a highly contagious and often fatal disease for which there presently is no known cure...In the words of Justice Robert Jackson, if a ‘court does not temper its doctrinaire logic with a little practical wisdom, it will convert the constitutional Bill of Rights into a suicide pact.’”

The judges explained that the President has no authority over the states on the matter.

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