An email from Capitol Police to Mahoney obtained by Fox News said that the area where the minister wanted to hold the vigil was “restricted” and therefore his permit request could not be processed. As an alternative, a police lieutenant said Mahoney could apply to hold the vigil at a sidewalk area that Mahoney told Fox News was “quite far from where I wanted to be.”
Mahoney claims that his prohibition from holding the vigil violates his First Amendment rights of free speech, assembly, and free exercise of religion. He also claims violations of his Fifth Amendment right to due process and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
But, that is another story.
Mahoney denied his request to pray on the Capitol grounds right where he wants to do it, is taking legal action against Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi along with the Capitol Police for denying him his request.
Rev. Patrick Mahoney says in his complaint, filed Tuesday in federal court, that he has been trying to hold a prayer vigil for Good Friday on the sidewalk near the Lower Western Terrace of the Capitol, but authorities denied his request. Mahoney claims that he has held many similar events at the same location in the past, including last year, when he worked with Capitol Police to make sure the event complied with COVID-19 restrictions.
“These acts by Defendants have effectively created a no-speech zone in one of the most important public forums in the nation,” the complaint reads.
Maybe so, but there is a reason the Capitol Building remains blocked off. At this time, what that is is still a mystery.