Conservative lawmakers blasted Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts after he sided with the court’s liberal wing in a 5-4 decision Friday that rejected a Nevada church’s request to block the state government from enforcing a cap on attendance at religious services.
“Freedom of religion is our first freedom. Yet SCOTUS has ruled that casinos can host hundreds of gamblers, while churches cannot welcome their full congregations. Justice Roberts once again got it wrong, shamefully closing church doors to their flocks,” Cotton added in a statement.
John Roberts at his hearing: “If the Constitution says that the little guy should win, the little guy’s going to win in court before me.” …
Three of the conservative justices wrote dissenting opinions on the emergency order.
“The Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in dissent. “It says nothing about the freedom to play craps or blackjack, to feed tokens into a slot machine, or to engage in any other game of chance. But the Governor of Nevada apparently has different priorities.”
“That Nevada would discriminate in favor of the powerful gaming industry and its employees may not come as a surprise, but this Court’s willingness to allow such discrimination is disappointing. We have a duty to defend the Constitution, and even a public health emergency does not absolve us of that responsibility,” he added.