(Theblaze) – In a letter Tuesday, the head of the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division warned California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom that his plan to reopen the state discriminates against churches.

The Justice Department argued that the governor’s current four-part plan to reopen places an “unfair burden” on religious institutions by delaying in-person gatherings until the third phase, which is after schools, restaurants, businesses and shopping centers are permitted to reopen in the second phase.

This constitutes “unequal treatment of faith communities,” the letter, sent by Assistant Attorney General Eric S. Dreiband, along with four other U.S. attorneys in California, suggested. “Simply put, there is no pandemic exception to the U.S. Constitution and its Bill of Rights,” Dreiband wrote.

According to the Associated Press, the letter does not threaten immediate legal action but rather serves as a warning to the state that legal action could follow should the state not make any changes. “The Constitution calls for California to do more to accommodate for religious worship, including in Stage 2 of the Reopening plan,” the letter advised. “Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.” READ MORE

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