Supreme Court lifts California's ban on indoor worship services but keeps restrictions on limited occupancy

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The Supreme Court ruled to block California’s coronavirus-related ban on indoor worship services on Friday night. 

However, the court maintained measures such as the ban on singing and chanting and limitations on the number of worshipers to 25% capacity. 

The ruling provided descriptions of what different justices were willing to allow in the case, which was brought forth by South Bay United Pentecostal Church.

California created a tier system that determined the severity of coronavirus outbreaks in each county. Those in the top tier were banned from indoor worship service, CNN reported. 

Justices Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas said they would have granted all of the church’s requests, including lifting the ban on singing and chanting and the 25% capacity restriction on indoor gatherings. 

“Even if a full congregation singing hymns is too risky, California does not explain why even a single masked cantor cannot lead worship behind a mask and a plexiglass shield. Or why even a lone muezzin may not sing the call to prayer from a remote location inside a mosque as worshippers file in,” Gorsuch wrote.

Read more: A health insurer backed by Chamath Palihapitiya is in the hot seat after a scathing short-seller report. Here’s how Clover Health responded to 4 of the biggest claims.

Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor dissented and said they sided with the state. 

“I am sure that, in deciding this case, every Justice carefully examined the briefs and read the decisions below. But I cannot imagine that any of us delved into the scientific research on how COVID spreads, or studied the strategies for containing it,” Kagan said in the dissent. “So it is alarming that the Court second-guesses the judgments of expert officials, and displaces their conclusions with its own. In the worst public health crisis in a century, this foray into armchair epidemiology cannot end well.”

Most surprisingly, new Justice Amy Coney Barrett took a more middle-ground position than her conservative counterparts. 

Barrett was sworn onto the Court in October and was former President Donald Trump’s third Supreme Court appointment. She is a conservative Catholic and her nomination prompted a lot of speculation on how she would rule on the court. 

“The applicants bore the burden of establishing their entitlement to relief from the singing ban. In my view, they did not carry that burden—at least not on this record,” she wrote in a brief opinion alongside Justice Brett Kavanaugh, another Trump appointee. 

The ruling follows a very similar one given last November where the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 barring New York state from enforcing some of the restrictions they had on attendance at churches and synagogues, the Associated Press reported. Barrett voted with the majority in this case. 


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'Criminal Minds': Fans Noticed the 1 Thing Penelope Garcia Seems To Do a Lot With Her Hands – And It Isn't Typing – Showbiz Cheat Sheet

Now that Criminal Minds has drawn to a close, it makes sense to go back and rewatch all 15 seasons all over again. If you’re like us and you’ve done just that, you might have noticed something that Technical Analyst Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) seems to do a lot of. And it doesn’t involve her typing on the computer or joking around with her co-workers when she can.

Who is Penelope Garcia in ‘Criminal Minds’?

Kirsten Vangsness in 'Criminal Minds' Kirsten Vangsness in 'Criminal Minds'
Kirsten Vangsness in ‘Criminal Minds’ | CBS via Getty Images

Garcia is a tech savvy and smart Technical Analyst that assists the Behavioral Analysis Unit in catching the unsubs in Criminal Minds. She makes breaks in cases with her knowledge of computers and the Internet, all while joking and trying to find the lighthearted moments where she can. Garcia’s a caring and sensitive individual, which sometimes comes into direct conflict with the subject matter the team deals with on a regular basis.

Fans noticed the 1 thing Garcia seems to do a lot with her hands

While watching episodes of Criminal Minds, it’s hard not to notice Garcia’s quirky pens that she uses on a daily basis. She seems to be holding one quite often, and fans certainly noticed this fun fact considering she usually types on a computer as part of her job. However, she can be seen holding a pen a lot of the time. It has become something her character is known to do.

Fans recently discussed the situation on Reddit. “It bothers me Garcia is almost always holding a pen, but she never writes anything down,” a fan titled a post on Reddit.

The post continues: “She types everything, she doesn’t need to write anything. Why hold a pen WHILE you type it would just be cumbersome. It’s a weird personality detail that seems unnecessary. Am I alone here?”

She could be using it as something to ‘fiddle’ with and to ‘distract’ herself

Kirsten Vangsness in 'Criminal Minds'Kirsten Vangsness in 'Criminal Minds'
Kirsten Vangsness in ‘Criminal Minds’ | Michael Yarish/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Studios

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One fan guesses that Garcia uses the pen as a “fiddle tool” and to “distract” herself. The cases they work on can be extremely graphic and hard to stomach, so Garcia could be trying to get her mind off of the subject matter.

“While I never really thought about this, my guess is that Garcia used them as a fiddle tool and probably also partly to distract herself from the gory and disturbing on the screens.”

Another fan seems to be leaning the same way when it comes to Garcia using something to fidget with. “Garcia was around before fidget spinners were invented,” a fan said. “Hence, the pen.”

Other fans added comments that include, “You are not alone,” and “I can’t stop thinking about it now.”

A fan points out that Garcia sometimes uses her pens

However, a fan points out that they’ve seen an episode where Garcia actually writes something down using the pen as more than just something she holds quite often. However, the fan also points out that they think Garcia uses pens as something to “fidget” with as well.

“I actually just watched an episode where I saw her write something down and she runs to Hotch* with the note in one hand and the funny pen in the other,” a fan wrote. “But she def uses the pens as fidget tools.”

Kirsten Vangsness reveals those quirky pens are gifts from fans

While speaking to Buzzfeed News in 2014, Vangsness revealed that her pens would break on set. “No one can type and hold a pen in her hand like that!” she explained. “I’m answering the phone in an ‘I’m answering the phone’ way. I end up breaking the things I like.”

It turns out the pens she uses are from fans, which is a surprising detail considering all the different pens she has. “A fan heard that, and decided to get a [pen] collection going, which I use now exclusively,” she continued.

Plus, she would also be gifted pens after performing at Theatre of Note. “Of course I’m gonna use that pen!” she said.

Penelope Garcia seems to have a pen in her hands quite often. Some fans think she uses it as an attempt to occupy herself or as something to “fidget” with.

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South Florida Lawyer's Criminal Contempt Conviction Reversed | Daily Business Review –

Fourth District Court of Appeal Judge Robert Gross wrote the ruling. Photo: Melanie Bell/ALM. Fourth District Court of Appeal Judge Robert Gross wrote the ruling. Photo: Melanie Bell/ALM.

An indirect criminal contempt conviction against a South Florida attorney has fallen apart at the Fourth District Court of Appeal, which found although it was “an understatement” to say the lawyer “dropped the litigation ball” in a civil case, the judge’s order to show cause was insufficient.

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