Delaware is not the first state to face lawsuits over apparently unequal restrictions on houses of worship versus other similar gatherings during the pandemic.
In Illinois, which had one of the strictest reopening plans in the country in terms of its limits on public gatherings, churches have brought at least three lawsuits alleging that the state illegally discriminated against religion and violated the U.S. and Illinois state constitutions, as well as the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
In response, the state of Illinois in May relaxed its restrictions on churches after Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh ordered the state to respond to the three lawsuits.
Illinois' governor said that the state's public health department would be issuing "guidance, not mandatory restrictions" for faith leaders to hold religious services, loosening the state's restrictions on religious gatherings during the pandemic.
A Pentecostal church in San Diego sued in early May over California's restrictions, saying that the state had violated First Amendment freedoms by forcing churches to remain closed while allowing some businesses to reopen during the pandemic.
The church asked the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in its case. The Supreme Court sided with the state of California, as well as with the state of Nevada in a similar case.
Later in May, the California health department said that, subject to the approval of local authorities, churches in the state could begin reopening along with in-store retail shopping, originally allowing houses of worship to hold religious services at up to 25% capacity with a maximum of 100 attendees.
In late October, a federal judge ruled that Colorado officials may not enforce anti-coronavirus limits against two churches, saying that the state rules lacked sufficient exemptions for the free exercise of religion.
Colorado's regulations treated churches more strictly than similar gatherings, which are required to observe social distancing but not observe occupational limits as well, the judge said, adding that the rules failed to protect congregations that may wish to remove facial coverings for religious reasons.
On Thursday, the Diocese of Brooklyn asked the U.S. Supreme Court for relief from the state of New York's COVID rule, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo imposed in October, limiting attendance at some diocesan churches to just 10 people while allowing some businesses to remain open without capacity limits.