During the COVID-19 pandemic, Capitol Hill Baptist Church found itself fighting Muriel Bowser, the city’s lockdown-demanding mayor, which triggered a federal lawsuit by First Liberty Institute.
The law firm announced last week it has reached a settlement with the District of Columbia and with Mayor Bpwser.
“I think that for, whatever reason,” says First Liberty attorney Hiram Sasser, “some government officials sort of forgot that there is this thing called the Constitution and that governments have limited powers.”
Capitol Hill Baptist filed suit last fall, in September, when it attempted to hold an outdoor service despite the city’s strict restrictions on worship services. That lawsuit came three months after tens of thousands marched in June to protest the death of George Floyd.
"It’s so wonderful to see everyone peacefully protesting, wearing their masks,” Mayor Bowser told the crowd, The Hill reported at the time.
The church then won a preliminary injunction in October that prevented the city from blocking any services.
In the settlement, the city agreed to pay legal costs and also agreed it will not enforce any restrictions, now or in the future, on Capitol Hill Baptist Church gatherings.