Deep Gulasekaram spoke to KTVU News about the Justice Department sending Governor Gavin Newsom a warning letter that the state’s phase two reopening places an “unfair burden” on houses of worship, and violates civil rights protections in the Constitution through the “unequal treatment of faith communities”.
“My reaction to this is that the Justice Department likely has a fairly weak constitutional claim,” said Deep Gulasekaram, a constitutional law professor at Santa Clara University.
He says the warning is more Washington politics than a serious threat.
Gulasekaram believes the various houses of worship can bring their own lawsuits instead of relying on the Department of Justice.
“There’s no discrimination amongst religions. So, it’s a much harder claim that the state is somehow discriminating against religious practice in general. There might very well be really good reasons why religious institutions might be on a different opening order,” he said.