(USA TODAY) The Supreme Court ruled late Friday that Nevada can impose tighter restrictions on churches than casinos while a legal dispute over its social distancing policies continues.
The 5-4 ruling included dissents from conservative justices who said limiting church gatherings to 50 worshipers while allowing bars, restaurants, casinos and indoor amusement parks to operate at 50% capacity violates freedom of religion.
Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court's four liberal justices in turning aside a challenge from a Nevada church. The same five justices ruled the same way in May, when a California church sought to exceed a 25% capacity threshold under the theory that local businesses were allowed to do so. In that case, Roberts said religious observances are comparable to public assemblies, not secular businesses.
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