Rev. Patrick Mahoney filed the lawsuit on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
Both Vice-President Kamala Harris and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, acting in their official capacities, are defendants in the lawsuit.
Rev. Mahoney will be seeking injunction relief to conduct his Good Friday Service and prayer vigil at the Capitol.
Rev. Mahoney was told last week by the US Capitol Police the Good Friday Service would not be allowed because it was in a “restricted area.”
While peaceful First Amendment activities are being prohibited at the US Capitol, other business is going on as usual. For example, members of Congress and their staff are entering and using the Capitol. Vendors, the media and their crews, invited guests, lobbyists and so many more are also allowed to enter and use the Capitol grounds.
However, American citizens who want to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights at the “People’s House,” are being prohibited from the Capitol.
Brian Chavez-Ochoa, of Chavez-Ochoa Law Offices and an attorney for Rev. Mahoney said, “The systematic trampling of our First Amendment Rights must come to an end and the Capitol must be reopened to the people. The right sought by Rev. Mahoney to pray at the lower western terrace of the Capitol on Good Friday, asking God to heal this nation and bless our leaders with wisdom, should and must be honored.”
Mahoney said the Capital is a place where all Americans are afforded the right to come and peacefully celebrate and express their First Amendment Rights.
“I am being prohibiting from holding a Good Friday Service to pray for God to heal our nation from division and bring hope and comfort to all those struggling during the pandemic. I am filing this federal lawsuit to ensure the ‘People’s House’ is returned to the people and the First Amendment is once again celebrated and honored at the United States Capitol.”
-CNJ Staff Reports