Rev. Patrick Mahoney claims that the request to hold the prayer prayer was denied
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Presbyterian minister, is suing Vice President Kamala Harris, the US Capitol Police Board, and Senate Sergeant in the Arms, claiming that the continued presence of a fence closing the area around the Capitol Building is part of their First Amendment rights. Is violating .
Rev. Patrick Mahoney says in his Complaint, Filed in federal court on Tuesday, that he is trying to supervise a prayer for Good Friday on the sidewalk near the Lower Western Terrace of the Capitol, but authorities declined his request. Mahoney claims that he has organized several such events at the same location, including last year, when he worked closely with the Capitol Police to ensure that the incident complies with COVID-19 restrictions.
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According to the complaint, “These acts of defendants have effectively created a no-speech zone in one of the most important public forums in the country.”
The area around the capitol has been closed and the National Guard is present in the area following the violent protests in January. “For the purpose of destroying the healing of God from the anxiety and anxiety that has been hovering over our country since the tragic events of January 6, 2021.”
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An email from Capitol Police to Mahoney obtained by Granthshala News stated that the area the minister wanted to be vigilant was “banned” and therefore his permit request could not be processed. As an alternative, a police lieutenant said that Mahoney could apply to keep vigil in a sidewalk area that Mahoney told Granthshala News “was far enough away from where I wanted to be.”
Mahoney claims that his prohibition on vigilance violates his First Amendment rights to speech, assembly and free exercise of religion. He It also claims violations of the Right to Procedure and Restoration of Religious Freedom Act due to its Fifth Amendment.
Granthshala News reached out to Pelosi, Harris and the Capitol Police Board for comment on the lawsuit, but did not immediately respond.
Mahoney’s lawsuit was brought on his behalf by the Center for American Liberty.
Center CEO Harmeet K. Dhillon said in a statement, “The ability of a minister and faithful parishioners to pray outside the American Capitol is unqualified and warrants the First Amendment for traditional public forums.”
Granthshala News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.