Grace Community Church in California, led by renowned Pastor John MacArthur, has won yet another legal battle as it seeks to withstand Los Angeles County's continued attempts to prevent the church from holding indoor worship services.
On Tuesday, California Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff issued an opinion denying the county's application for a restraining order against MacArthur and his congregation. Beckloff wrote that the county's application did not meet the statutory requirements.
Special Counsel Paul Jonna of Thomas More Society, the group defending Grace Community Church, commented,
"This was their fourth unsuccessful attempt to obtain a court order prohibiting indoor worship services at Grace Community Church. We look forward to fully vindicating our clients' constitutionally protected rights in subsequent proceedings for this important case."
Thomas More Special Counsel Jenna Ellis was even more pointed in her remarks, offering a stinging rebuke of the county's efforts:
"This should signal to LA County that California courts will not quickly or easily trample the constitutionally protected rights of churches. We maintain that their health order is unconstitutionally burdening the right of churches to worship, and there exists no rational basis, much less a compelling interest, to try to shut down indoor services at this point, particularly when the county is allowing strip clubs to operate and massive riots to take place – and not seeking restraining orders against them. We look forward to making those arguments at a subsequent proceeding, where we will ask the court to properly check this power grab by Los Angeles County and the State of California's executive branch."
On behalf of his church, MacArthur expressed gratitude to Judge Beckloff for his "reasoned opinion" and reiterated his belief that the county's conduct represents an "illegitimate misuse of power."