Commonwealth Policy Center

After a ten-month legal battle, Washington, DC has finally settled a lawsuit for restricting church services during the COVID-19 lockdown. The District banned outdoor religious services for gatherings of over 100 people. As a result, Capitol Hill Baptist Church sued because they were being restricted while secular entities were not. All the church wanted was to meet together as a congregation. And they believed they could do it safely. This was a protected right under the First Amendment. In October, a district court ruled in favor of DC churches and now a settlement has finally been reached. Washington, DC agreed to pay $220,000 to the church’s legal counsel. As the church’s attorney said, “Government officials need to know that illegal restrictions on First Amendment rights are intolerable and costly.”