Minister Sues Pelosi, Harris for Capitol Entry So He Can Keep a Vigil on Good Friday

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A Christian pastor has filed a federal lawsuit against Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Kamala Harris after his request to hold a Good Friday vigil was denied under the Capitol.

He claims the denial prevents him from exercising his right to free speech, with the barricades essentially creating a ‘no-speech zone’.

Patrick Mahoney, a Presbyterian minister from Virginia, said in his Tuesday complaint that his more than 30-year tradition of holding the service on the Lower Western Terrace this year was denied by the Capitol Hill Police Department.

After the Capitol uprising on Jan. 6, sidewalks and areas around the Capitol were fenced off to maximize security.

The steel fences and roadblocks around the complex have finally been removed since last week – more than two months after the deadly riots. But there will still be an inner layer of barricades around the Capitol for now.

Patrick Mahoney, a Presbyterian minister from Virginia, said his tradition of holding the service on the Lower Western Terrace has been denied by the Capitol Police.  Pictured last year in the Capitol when the country was in the throes of the coronavirus epidemic

Patrick Mahoney, a Presbyterian minister from Virginia, said his tradition of holding the service on the Lower Western Terrace has been denied by the Capitol Police. Pictured last year in the Capitol when the country was in the throes of the coronavirus epidemic

The first page of Tuesday's complaint lists Nancy Pelosi, Kamala Harris and the US Capitol Police as defendants, along with the capitol sergeant.

The first page of Tuesday's complaint lists Nancy Pelosi, Kamala Harris and the US Capitol Police as defendants, along with the capitol sergeant.

The first page of Tuesday’s complaint lists Nancy Pelosi, Kamala Harris and the US Capitol Police as defendants, along with the capitol sergeant.

Mahoney applied for the Good Friday service on February 2, which is said to have been held on April 3, but was told that the fencing was part of the determining factor as to why he was unable to attend the vigil at the site. to hold. The official rejection date was March 24.

In the lawsuit, the pastor claims he held the vigil in the same place for years – including in 2020, when he worked with Capitol Police to make sure he followed the guidelines set for COVID-19.

The suit cites speaker Nancy Pelosi, Vice President Kamala Harris, the US Capitol Police Board, and Sergeant and Arms Karen H. Gibson as defendants.

Moreover, the general refusal of the suspects from the licensing processes in a traditional public forum is inadmissible because they act as a prior restriction of speech, ‘the suit read.

Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

The suit names speaker Nancy Pelosi, Vice President Kamala Harris, US Capitol Police Board, Sergeant in Arms Karen H. Gibson as defendants in the case

NOW AND THEN: Steel fences placed around the US Capitol complex have been removed since last week – more than two months after the deadly January 6 riots

A map of the Capitol area shows in green where previous fences were and in blue where existing fences are

A map of the Capitol area shows in green where previous fences were and in blue where existing fences are

A map of the Capitol area shows in green where previous fences were and in blue where existing fences are

In closing the sidewalks and public areas around the Capitol, including the Lower Western Terrace that Plaintiff intends to use, the defendants have effectively created a zone that should not be spoken around the Capitol. Defendants prevent First Amendment activities in these areas, even though no specific threat to the Capitol has been identified for justification. ‘

Mahoney, an anti-abortion activist, denounced the rioters who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, while expressing his hope of “praying for a cure for the United States” after the tumultuous election season.

“The prosecutor is a peaceful man of God and feels called to pray for the United States,” the complaint said. ‘He wants to do that in the same place where the attempted and failed uprising took place. The plaintiff strongly condemns the criminal behavior of the rioters on January 6, 2021 and calls out against the violence and loss of life that took place on that fateful day in the history of this country.

Capitol Police confirmed last week that the perimeter fence of the complex has been demolished and local streets in the area have been reopened.  The fence around the inner ring of the Capitol is still in place

Capitol Police confirmed last week that the perimeter fence of the complex has been demolished and local streets in the area have been reopened.  The fence around the inner ring of the Capitol is still in place

Capitol Police confirmed last week that the perimeter fence of the complex has been demolished and local streets in the area have been reopened. The fence around the inner ring of the Capitol is still in place

Strings of barbed wire on top of the remaining fence have now also been removed.  The inner perimeter of the fence, which is located directly around the Capitol, will remain as authorities and lawmakers continue to try and have a long-term plan for security

Strings of barbed wire on top of the remaining fence have now also been removed.  The inner perimeter of the fence, which is located directly around the Capitol, will remain as authorities and lawmakers continue to try and have a long-term plan for security

Strings of barbed wire on top of the remaining fence have now also been removed. The inner perimeter of the fence, which is located directly around the Capitol, will remain as authorities and lawmakers continue to try and have a long-term plan for security

Mahoney, an anti-abortion activist, denounced the rioters who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, while expressing his hope of “praying for a cure for the United States” after the tumultuous election season.

In the lawsuit, the pastor alleges that he held the vigil in the same place for years - including in 2020, when he worked with Capitol Police to make sure he followed the guidelines set for COVID-19.

In the lawsuit, the pastor claims he held the vigil in the same place for years - including in 2020, when he worked with Capitol Police to make sure he followed the guidelines set for COVID-19.

In the lawsuit, the pastor claims he held the vigil in the same place for years – including in 2020, when he worked with Capitol Police to make sure he followed the guidelines set for COVID-19.

The plaintiff alleges that he poses no threat to national security to the United States, nor to the House of Representatives, nor to the Senate, nor to the Capitol Police Department and their officers, nor to the United States Capitol and / or the United States. surrounding terrain. The prosecution only wants to fulfill his obligation to Almighty God by praying for healing for the United States, all of our elected leaders, the people of this nation, and for the defendants in this action. ‘

The lawsuit indicates that during discussions with Capitol Police for the permit, Mahoney was “offered an alternative location for the Good Friday vigil on the west side of the Capitol by a large statue of Ulysses S. Grant.”

Mahoney “ declined because this location is further away from the Capitol and lawmakers, ” the complaint said.

Mahoney took to Twitter to announce the lawsuit and share a series of posts related to it

Mahoney took to Twitter to announce the lawsuit and share a series of posts related to it

Mahoney took to Twitter to announce the lawsuit and share a series of posts related to it

The Center for American Liberty, Chavez-Ochoa Law Offices and the Dhillon Law Group represent Mahoney in this matter

The Center for American Liberty, Chavez-Ochoa Law Offices and the Dhillon Law Group represent Mahoney in this matter

The Center for American Liberty, Chavez-Ochoa Law Offices and the Dhillon Law Group represent Mahoney in this matter

The Center for American Liberty, Chavez-Ochoa Law Offices, and Dhillon Law Group represent Mahoney in this matter.

“Denying a minister and staunch parishioners the opportunity to pray outside the Capitol is unfathomable and violates First Amendment guarantees for traditional public forums,” Harmeet K. Dhillon, CEO of the Center for American Liberty, said in a statement. release of the nonprofit.

Mahoney and the nonprofit are seeking a temporary restraining order and a preliminary court order demanding that the Lower Western Terrace and Lawn be opened for expression.