Opinions Relating to Orders - 2019

Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley v. Sisolak

JUSTICE KAVANAUGH, dissenting from denial of application for injunctive relief. I join JUSTICE ALITO’s dissent in full and respectfully add these further comments. Under its current reopening plan, Nevada allows restaurants, bars, casinos, and gyms to grant entrance to up to 50% of their total occupancy limit—no matter how many people that may be. For example, a casino with a 500-person occupancy limit may let in up to 250 people. By contrast, places of worship may only take in a maximum of 50 people, without exception, regardless of the occupancy cap. So unlike a casino next door, a church with a 500-person occupancy limit may let in only 50 people, not 250 people. Nevada has offered no persuasive justification for that overt discrimination against places of worship. The risk of COVID–19 transmission is at least as high at restaurants, bars, casinos, and gyms as it is at religious services. Indeed, people congregating in restaurants, bars, casinos, and gyms often linger at least as long as they do at religious services. And given the safety measures that Calvary Chapel and other places of worship are following—including social distancing, mask wearing, and certain additional voluntary measures—it is evident that people interact with others at restaurants, bars, casinos, and gyms at least as closely as they do at religious services.