The Center for American Liberty, in coordination with the Dhillon Law Group, and on behalf of clients residing in Riverside County, California and in San Bernardino County, California, sent demand letters today to county officials in both counties demanding the immediate rescission of two orders—first, the April 6, 2020 “Amended Order of the Health Officer of the County of Riverside and of the County Executive Officer as Director of Emergency Services,” and second the April 7, 2020 “Order of the Health Officer of the County of San Bernardino for the Control of COVID-19.”
“Officials in both San Bernardino County and Riverside County have gone too far and are now banning all out-of-home participation in religious services,” said Harmeet Dhillon, Chief Executive Officer of the Center for American Liberty. “County officials made zero effort to protect faithful residents’ freedom to exercise their faith. Our clients practice responsible social distancing—they wear gloves; they wear masks; they sit 6 feet apart; and yet, their participation in religious services has now been criminalized.”
“We are also challenging Riverside County’s mandate that all residents wear a facemask as a prerequisite for leaving one’s home,” said Dhillon.
The Center of American Liberty is giving both counties until 5:00 pm on Thursday, April 9, 2020, to rescind their orders in full or to make appropriation accommodations for religious liberty. If no such rescission or accommodation is made, the Center for American Liberty promises to file a lawsuit immediately seeking injunctive relief.
“Public health is a compelling government interest. But there are better ways for county officials to achieve this end that do not include banning all out-of-home religious expression, disproportionately burdening the poor by requiring residents to wears masks outside the home, or violating the Constitution,” concluded Dhillon.