The $137,000 fee involves the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, which was sued in 2020 when it forced a network of nine private schools to shutter their doors to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Those schools were ordered shut down for six weeks while school administrators, students and parents watched businesses remain open.
A federal court originally ruled against the plaintiffs and their claim of a First Amendment violation but an appeals court granted an injunction against the health department order in the final weeks of 2020.
Center For Christian Virtue and the Ohio Christian Education Network sued the county on behalf of St. John's Jesuit and Monclova Christian Academy.
"This is really a smackdown of every bureaucrat throughout America that thinks they're above the U.S. Constitution," says CCV's Aaron Baer.
"These bureaucrats up in northwest Ohio,” he tells AFN, “thought it was okay to order Christian schools to close while allowing casinos and strip clubs and concerts, and all these things, to go on because of COVID-19."
In a related story by The Christian Post, a spokeswoman for the health department told CP it disagreed it had acted “improperly” and said the Board of Health “acted in the best interests of public health.”