Cite as: 591 U. S. _ (2020)
ALITO, J., dissenting
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
CALVARY CHAPEL DAYTON VALLEY v. STEVE
SISOLAK, GOVERNOR OF NEVADA, ET AL.
ON APPLICATION FOR INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
[July 24, 2020]
The application for injunctive relief presented to JUSTICE
KAGAN and by her referred to the Court is denied.
JUSTICE ALITO, with whom JUSTICE THOMAS and JUSTICE KAVANAUGH join, dissenting from denial of application for injunctive relief.
The Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion. 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. Claiming virtually unbounded power to restrict constitutional rights during the COVID–19 pandemic, he has issued a directive that severely limits attendance at religious services. A church, synagogue, or mosque, regardless of its size, may not admit more than 50 persons, but casinos and certain other favored facilities may admit 50% of their maximum occupancy— and in the case of gigantic Las Vegas casinos, this means that thousands of patrons are allowed.
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.
I will not comment further on this Supreme Court decision. I ask that you read and share this important decision but even more, I ask that you understand the consequences of having a Supreme Court that renders opinions not based on the Constitution.