A Presbyterian minister is dragging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Vice President Kamala Harris and U.S. Capitol Police into court for blocking the U.S. Capitol and preventing him for conducting a Good Friday prayer service on the Capitol grounds.
Rev. Patrick Mahoney filed his legal case on Tuesday following his denied request to hold a prayer vigil near the Lower Western Terrace of the Capitol.
The complaint notes:
Plaintiff’s application for a permit to hold a Good Friday prayer vigil is in the exact same location where he held his Good Friday prayer vigil in 2020. In 2020, Plaintiff worked with Capitol Police to ensure that he was able to safely hold a prayer vigil on Capitol grounds even though COVID-19 was constraining the nation.
Mahoney held a Good Friday service at the same location in 2020 despite COVID-19 restrictions.
Mahoney’s case claims his constitutional rights of free speech, freedom of assembly and free exercise of religion are in violation. The reverend also argued his Fifth Amendment right to due process and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in the lawsuit.
The case is represented by the Center for American Liberty. CEO Harmeet Dhillon distributed a written statement.
“If there was ever a location in need of divine intervention, of God’s favor and wisdom, it would be the U.S. Capitol where legislators from across the country gather to pass laws that have a profound impact on virtually every aspect of our lives,” Dhillon wrote.
“Denying a minister and faithful parishioners the ability to pray outside the U.S. Capitol is unfathomable and violates First Amendment guarantees for traditional public forums,” she added.
A petition supporting Mahoney’s effort can be found here. The effort hopes to collect the names of “100,000 patriotic Americans.”