In the end, taxpayers will end up paying the bill for COVID policy that violated the law in Jackson County.
Here's the quote upshot . . .
Abundant Life, which holds services in Blue Springs and Lee’s Summit, had alleged that the county’s COVID-19 recovery plan violated both the U.S. and Missouri constitutions by discriminating against religion.
Thousands attend services each week at Abundant Life. But under the county’s initial easing of COVID-19 restrictions, church services were grouped with other large gatherings and social events and limited to no more than 10 people.
Non-essential stores, restaurants and bars, meanwhile, did not have a numerical attendance limit. They were allowed to reopen as long as they followed the social distancing recommendations put out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The church contended that the county’s rules violated its rights to the free exercise of religion, free speech and the right of people to peaceably assemble.
The county no longer restricts gatherings, and federal court decisions handed down over the past year in similar cases made it unlikely Jackson County would win in court.
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Jackson County Legislature voted 6-2 Monday to settle a federal lawsuit brought against it by Abundant Life Baptist Church in Lee's Summit. Under the terms of the settlement, the county will pay $73,375 dollars to cover attorneys fees for the church.
Acknowledging they would likely lose in court, Jackson County and its health department will pay the legal fees of an eastern Jackson County mega church that challenged the county's COVID-19 restrictions in federal court. The $146,750 payment to Abundant Life Baptist Church and attorney Jonathan R. Whitehead settles the case filed in May 2020.
Jackson County officials on Monday approved a settlement with a church that had sued over COVID-19 restrictions that it claimed discriminated against religion.The Jackson County Legislature voted Monday to approve a $146,750 payment to Abundant Life Baptist Church and attorney Jonathan Whitehead.
Developing . . .