Supreme Court Denies Crazy Pastor’s Lawsuit Against LA Gov.’s COVID Restrictions

Supreme Court Denies Crazy Pastor’s Lawsuit Against LA Gov.’s COVID Restrictions

Pastor Tony Spell, the head of Louisiana’s Life Tabernacle Church, has once again lost a legal challenge, this time at the highest possible level.

In case you need a refresher, Spell was first arrested in April — remember April?! — for aggravated assault against a protester. But he became notorious for holding in-person church gatherings and putting countless people in harm’s way. Despite being under house arrest, he defied the law to preach at his nearby church multiple times a week, even asking supporters to send him portions of their stimulus checks.

Spell’s more recent legal troubles involved a lawsuit against Gov. John Bel Edwards for issuing an order that limited the size of gatherings, including church services. Spell claimed that violated his First Amendment rights.

But two weeks ago, U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson tossed those claims aside, essentially saying that churches weren’t being treated unfairly. If anything, they were given more leeway than public institutions.

Governor Edwards’s Proclamations have always treated comparable secular institutions similarly to comparable religious institutions. In the earliest days of the pandemic, the only businesses or individuals who were treated more leniently than religious organizations were essential workers and businesses, such as healthcare workers and grocery stores. With every restriction on places of worship, identical or more stringent restrictions have been placed on similarly situated secular businesses. Indeed, religious organizations have often been privileged over similar secular businesses.

That ruling stood in stark contrast to the one the Supreme Court issued in favor of churches this week, saying that New York’s restrictions treated churches unfairly, but the conservative bloc compared churches to places like grocery stores — as if they’re both equally “essential” — when they should’ve done with this judge did, comparing churches to bars or concert venues, places where people also gather, speak, and stick around for longer periods of time.

In any case, the ruling sent a clear message to Spell: Stop acting like a precious little snowflake. We’re all dealing with the pandemic. You need to make the same sacrifices as everyone else.

Spell’s claims were also dismissed “with prejudice,” meaning he couldn’t raise the same issue again in court — or pursue legal costs.

(For what it’s worth, the most recent executive order in Louisiana wasn’t even that restrictive: Rather than prohibiting gatherings of 10 or more people or anything like that, the order allowed churches to be filled to 75% of their capacity. It was far too much. But nothing is ever good enough for COVID-denying Christian pastors who don’t live in reality.)

But Spell wasn’t done whining. Within a week of that ruling, his lawyers — including alleged pedophile Roy Moore — filed an emergency appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court. As explained by Law & Crime, the ruling asked the Court to say Spell had a First Amendment right to gather — and that the government had absolutely no power in any situation to stop him.

In one passage, the application suggests Spell was merely “[f]ollowing his religious conviction that he must obey God rather than man” when he chose to keep his church fully open. The application later argues that the First Amendment separation of church and state “was to protect the church from the state.”

Later on, it argued for the supreme authority of the church:

When the State’s order prohibits a church from assembling, singing together, hearing the word of God preached, laying hands on the sick, baptizing, taking communion, and the like, then the courts owe the State no deference at all.

Taking up that case — and ruling in favor of Spell — would’ve been an unmitigated disaster. It would have suggested churches exist in their own world, unable to be controlled for any reason no matter how much tangible damage they cause.

The good news is that Justice Samuel Alito, who handles these kinds of emergency cases from this region, rejected the plea altogether. The case won’t come before the Court at all. The earlier decisions stand.

Tony Spell is a loser yet again.

That’s especially ironic given that Spell just gave a sermon days ago saying God would be on his side, calling his filing with the Supreme Court the “most theologically sound documents and arguments that has ever been in Washington, D.C… in the highest court of the land.”

His theology is as pathetic as his legal record.

6 thoughts on “Supreme Court Denies Crazy Pastor’s Lawsuit Against LA Gov.’s COVID Restrictions

    • Hello Nan. Do you remember back to the start of same sex marriage fights? As states started to approve the idea religious leaders started to scream that gay people wanted special rights? Now they lost that argument, but they are now doing that for themselves, demanding special rights no one else has. The right of religion to be exempt from secular laws. Hugs

      Like

        • Hello Nan. Two people who can not ever admit they are wrong, someone whose paycheck depends on the stance they take, and someone who is on a mission for their god because god wants them to do whatever it is they are doing and they know it. Hugs

          Like

  • None of them are very subtle. Most are pretty blatant. I think we can ignore their denial of white supremacy or entitlement. Their message is bare hatred and lying is the main feature of their character. And the Supreme Court so fickle, it is hard to tell which way they will turn.

    “Just as we’re watching the leaves fall from the trees, we’re watching grown men wither and fall away from reality rather than accept the election results. According to evangelist Mario Murillo, “‘Joe Biden is the President’ is the conspiracy theory.” Murillo can’t make sense of how Biden would have won the election when so many prophecies foretold Trump winning… therefore Biden’s win is an illusion and you’ll be taking a one-way trip to Hell if you go along with it. (Cue three other men with furrowed brows nodding in agreement.)

    Pastor yells ‘white power’ during parade, complete with Stars and Bars.
    https://christiannightmares.tumblr.com/

    “so many prophecies foretold Trump winning”
    None of their prophecies have ever come to pass, so why would he think this is any different. They advertise the failures of their infallible God

    https://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/jim-bakker-warns-that-were-gonna-have-a-revolution-if-trump-is-not-reelected/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=rww&utm_campaign=bestof
    ‘I’m scared for America. I really am,” Bakker said. “I want to warn America … we’ve got a few more days to stand up. It’s going to be too late after the election, I believe. I think if we elect the wrong people—and you see how wrong it’s been—we’re gonna have a revolution.”

    The Council for National Policy (CNP) is an umbrella organization and networking group for conservative and Republican activists in the United States. Among their membership are Jay Sekulow, Betsy DeVos, Kellyanne Conway, Steve Bannon, Pat Robertson, and Wayne LaPierre. There are other names with beaucoup money providing lawyers, etc. Familiar names, huh?

    To temporize with an evil that one knows of, evinces either uncertainty, weakness, or collusion; to tolerate evil which one has the power to prevent, is to consent that evil should be committed.
    ~Jean Meslier 1664 – 1729

    Liked by 1 person

    • These people are f…ing NUTS! They are making it up as they go along since their bible makes no such claims, contrary to what they WANT to believe.

      As I now sit on the sidelines, having long ago removed the rose-colored glasses, I sometimes wonder how I could have been so taken in by this idiocy. I guess we all have our weak moments …

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.