A California judge has sided with California Pastor John MacArthur and Grace Community Church in yet another hearing over the church’s decision to hold indoor public worship services amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Thursday, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff ruled that MacArthur and his Sun Valley-based church are entitled to a full trial on the merits of their challenge against state and local orders prohibiting indoor church gatherings before they can be held in contempt for violating the orders.
For nearly three months, the county has sought to shut down the church and hold MacArthur in contempt for repeatedly violating the order. However, attorneys at the Thomas More Society have argued that the governor’s orders violate several provisions of the state constitution.
This week, Beckloff ruled that the courts must first decide on the constitutionality of the shutdown orders before the county can pursue contempt charges.
Due to the state’s shut-down orders, the contempt trial is not expected to take place until early 2021.
The court scheduled a hearing to be held on Nov. 13 regarding the scope of the church’s challenge. A preliminary injunction was issued earlier this month by Beckloff prohibiting the church from conducting, participating in or attending any indoor worship services until the case is resolved.
Lawyers for MacArthur and Grace Community applauded the judge’s decision Thursday.Continue reading “Judge refuses to hold John MacArthur, Grace Community Church in contempt without trial”