Pastor Tony Spell responds to dismissal of lawsuit against Gov. John Bel Edwards

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — A federal judge rejected Pastor Tony Spell’s lawsuit over past COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings. This is the second time his lawsuit has been shut down.

Spell gained national attention at the beginning of the pandemic when he ignored the governor’s COVID-19 safety order despite the majority of the world facing similar lockdowns.

“Brian Jackson says, ‘the orders have changed, therefore your case is moot, we are dismissing it,'” Spell said.

U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson wrote that Spell’s “demand for damages fails because there is not now, and never has been, a ‘clearly established’ right to unrestricted religious assembly, and at all relevant times Defendants reasonably believed that they were acting within the constitutional limits set by the Supreme Court and the Fifth Circuit” in court documents.

“It’s not over, we are appealing to the higher courts,” Spell said.

Spell is not giving up the fight while he faces several other state charges.

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