Museum of the Bible weighing lawsuit over DC pandemic restrictions

Museum of the Bible weighing lawsuit over DC pandemic restrictions
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Museum of the Bible officials said on Wednesday that they are considering suing D.C. Mayor Muriel BowserMuriel BowserThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Government shutdown fears increase as leaders dig in DC orders school and child care staffers, student athletes to be vaccinated with no testing option Biden to GOP governors planning vaccine mandate lawsuits: 'Have at it' MORE (D) due to new coronavirus restrictions, arguing they violate the museum employees’ religious freedoms and prevent possible religious experiences for visitors.

The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that the museum had sent a letter to Bowser, arguing that her orders violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment.

Bowser released an order last week requiring museums and indoor dining in D.C. to close from Dec. 23 to Jan. 15. This period includes the season of Advent and Christmas, which are normally busy times for the museum.

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Harry Hargrave, museum president, told the Post that the museum wants to "stand up for our rights" ad that "we feel like they’ve been violated.”

Hargrave called the first shutdown in March “a crippling experience,” saying the museum was forced to furlough 40 employees.

The Hill has reached out to Bowser's office for comment.

Despite the museum’s possible litigation against Bowser, it will comply with orders and close on Wednesday, the Post reports. The museum is reportedly asking Bowser to reinstate less restrictive orders that allowed 250 socially-distanced guests per floor. The museum has almost 400,000 square feet across seven floors.