Wed. Dec 1st, 2021

First Liberty Institute and law firm WilmerHale sued on behalf of the church when the city closed religious gatherings under COVID

WASHINGTON, JULY 08, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – First Liberty Institute announced today that, on behalf of its client, the Capitol Hill Baptist Church (“CHBC”) reached a favorable settlement with the District of Columbia and Mayor Muriel Browser after church filed a federal lawsuit that challenged the district’s restrictions on gatherings at places of worship during the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can read the settlement here.

“Every Capitol Hill Baptist Church that has ever been asked is for equal treatment under the law so they could meet safely as a church,” said Hiram Sasser, director general of the First Liberty Institute. “The Church is relieved and grateful that this ordeal is behind them. Government officials need to know that illegal restrictions on rights to first amendment are intolerable and costly. ”

The Capitol Hill Baptist Church (CHBC) in Washington, DC believes that meeting together is what makes a church a church. On September 22, 2020, the church filed a lawsuit through the WilmerHale LLP and First Liberty Institute to seek the ability to hold outdoor worship services in the District of Columbia while masked and socially distanced. On October 9, 2020, the U.S. District Court of Columbia notified the CHBC of a preliminary injunction ordering the DC government to ban such assembly.

In the settlement, the district accepts that it will not enforce any “current or future” restrictions on CHBC collections. The district also agreed to pay CHBC’s attorney fees.

About First Liberty Institute
First Liberty Institute is a non-profit law firm in the public interest and the largest legal organization in the country, dedicated solely to defending religious freedom for all Americans.

To arrange an interview, contact Lacey McNiel at or by calling 972-941-4453.

Contact: Lacey McNiel,
Direct: 972-941-4453

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