California federal courts must now revisit whether the state went too far in its COVID-19 restrictions on churches, meaning the state could be forced to loosen those restrictions - right before Christmas.
The review comes after an order from the Supreme Court Thursday morning.
"It means the court is saying, 'in light of our order, you may have gotten it wrong,'" said legal analyst Dan Eaton.
Eaton said after the Supreme Court sided with churches and synagogues in New York, Thursday's order essentially is the high court's way of saying, 'Hey we think New York overreached here, so we think California may have overreached too."
"Churches are being treated less favorably with respect to restrictions than retailers are," Eaton said. "And there are no constitutional rights to go shopping."
The court order could have major implications, not just in California, but across the country. And this isn't just a legal matter, Eaton said, it's a matter of public health.
"Oh, it's a big deal," Eaton said. "There is no question that is a big deal. Because what it could mean, is churches could be open for in-person services before Christmas. Yes, it's a big deal."
Eaton says the California Federal trial court will likely come out with a decision in the next week or so.