Professor Barry McDonald Quoted in "Do Coronavirus Social Distancing Orders Violate Religious Freedom?" -- Los Angeles Times
Professor Barry P. McDonald is quoted in the Los Angeles Times article, "Do Coronavirus Social Distancing Orders Violate Religious Freedom? Local Pastors Say Yes." The article considers lawsuit filed by religious leaders against governments claiming they are being treated differently from businesses such as supermarkets and pharmacies that can remain open.
Excerpt from "Do Coronavirus Social Distancing Orders Violate Religious Freedom"
During an infectious disease pandemic, government officials have a public health interest in restricting people's movements, which can clash with constitutional rights such as freedom of religion, speech and assembly.
Barry McDonald, a professor at Pepperdine's Caruso School of Law, said the plaintiffs have a "decent claim."
The government must have a compelling reason to treat churches differently than other organizations it has deemed essential, he said.
If churches agree to maintain safe social distancing, according to McDonald, they could argue for a carve-out like supermarkets and pharmacies.
"These are important material needs that must be fulfilled, important social needs — courts, day care, child care," he said. "You could say spiritual needs are essential and necessary as well."
The complete article may be found here