The Department of Justice is urging states and localities to apply the same coronavirus lockdown and peaceful protest rules to religious gatherings.
The Department of Justice claimed that while states have the general authority to protect the public during the pandemic, the First Amendment "does not give them carte blanche to ban peaceful public protests and rallies."
"The First Amendment does not allow California to selectively enforce its protest rules by allowing large gatherings of over 100--often without permits--in response to the George Floyd tragedy..." the Department of Justice wrote.
The First Amendment of the Constitution of United States of America states that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Meanwhile, the Department of Justice applauded Montgomery County Maryland executives for allowing gatherings for political protest in response to the tragic death of George Floyd but also urged the enforcement of the county's executive orders to also respect the rights of residents to practice their faith.
"During a crisis, it is important for people of faith to be able to exercise their religion," Civil Rights Assistant Attorney General, Eric Dreiband said.
"Montgomery County has shown no good reason for not trusting congregants who promise to use care in worship the same way it trusts political protesters to do the same."
Dreiband insisted that the Department of Justice "will continue to take action if states and localities infringe on the free exercise of religion or other civil liberties."
When a Mississippi church sued the police for ticketing church congregants during a drive-in service during the lockdown, the Department of Justice intervened and said that it "strongly suggests that the city's actions target religious conduct."
Similarly, the Department of Justice also supported the Temple Baptist Church in Greenville, Mississippi when church congregants were ticketed for refusing to leave a drive-in service.
In April, Attorney General William Barr announced to review the coronavirus restrictions to ensure that civil liberties are not being violated and in May, President Trump insisted to "override" governors who refused to allow places of worship to open.
It is hoped that the First Amendment is not infringed upon so that Americans can freely exercise the promised freedom of religion.