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.
For most of the 60-year history of the Kennedy dynasty, it’s been easier to imagine its last act as coming in a burst of triumph, a spasm of violence or a dream-shall-never-die promise of enduring hope. On Tuesday, however, what might be the final note of this political symphony was written not in glory or tragedy, but in numbers, the sad prose of politics.
Sen. Ed Markey 55.6 percent, U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III 44.4 percent.
In a Democratic primary. In Massachusetts.
The 74-year-old Markey, who was first elected to the House in 1972, was supposed to be the type of proud, uncharismatic incumbent whom Kennedys routinely dispatch to retirement homes or ambassadorships. Joe Kennedy’s grandfather, Robert, famously ended the 18-year political career of New York Sen. Kenneth Keating, a 64-year-old Rockefeller Republican, without even moving to the state until shortly before the election. In a 1962 debate, Massachusetts Attorney General Edward J. “Eddie” McCormack Jr. told political neophyte Edward Moore Kennedy that if his name had been Edward Moore, his Senate candidacy “would be a joke.” The joke, of course, was on Eddie McCormack, who lost the Democratic primary, 69-30.
Jenna Ellis: ‘This is harassment, abusive, and unconscionable.’
In the fight between Los Angeles County and Pastor John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church over religious liberty, the county went petty. Los Angeles County notified Grace Community Church via letter that on October 1 it is being evicted from a parcel of land it uses as a parking lot. The church has held a lease on this land for 45 years.
Is this retaliation for fighting Los Angeles County’s ban on indoor church worship services? Lawyers for John MacArthur and Grace Community Church think so.
“Los Angeles County is retaliating against Grace Community Church for simply exercising their constitutionally protected right to hold church and challenging an unreasonable, unlawful health order,” said Jenna Ellis, Special Counsel to Thomas More Society: “In America, we have a judicial system to ensure that the executive branch does not abuse its power, and Grace Community Church has every right to be heard without fear of reprisal. The Democrats’ message to Americans is clear–if you don’t bow to every whim of tyranny, the government will come after you. The Church has peacefully held this lease for 45 years and the only reason the County is attempting eviction is because John MacArthur stood up to their unconstitutional power grab. This is harassment, abusive, and unconscionable.“
This eviction is for a large area of the parking lot utilized by the church—and has been leased since 1975. The land is in the flood control area and unsuitable for most uses.
The dispute between MacArthur, Grace Community Church and Los Angeles County began when the church decided it would hold indoor worship services despite the county and California bans on indoor church services. The county has taken MacArthur and the church into court at least four times in the last several weeks seeking judgment against the church.
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” – Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States (1981–1989) and the 33rd Governor of California (1967–1975). Born in Illinois, Reagan moved to Los Angeles in the 1930s, where he became an actor, president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), and a spokesman for General Electric. Reagan became involved in politics during his work for G.E. and switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party in 1962. After delivering a rousing speech in support of Barry Goldwater’s presidential candidacy in 1964, he was persuaded to seek the California Governorship, winning two years later and again in 1970. He was defeated in his run for the Republican presidential nomination in 1968 as well as 1976, but won both the nomination and election in 1980.