Home Christian News UPDATE: Court Declines to Hear Maine Church’s Attack on COVID Restrictions

UPDATE: Court Declines to Hear Maine Church’s Attack on COVID Restrictions

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Calvary Chapel Bangor Pastor Ken Graves. Source: Facebook

UPDATED August 3, 2021: WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to hear a lawsuit by a Maine church that sought to take a preemptive strike against future restrictions associated with a variant of the virus that’s spreading across the country.

Calvary Chapel in Orrington asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stop Democratic Gov. Janet Mills from enforcing or reinstating any pandemic-related restrictions due to the delta variant of the coronavirus.

The request was denied by Justice Stephen Breyer without even asking the other side to respond or asking his colleagues to get involved.

The Maine attorney general’s office previously said that the governor’s civil emergency already expired, making the lawsuit unnecessary.

But church officials were worried that restrictions could be reinstated, violating their religious liberties protected by the Constitution. The church’s attorneys described Mill’s previous restrictions as a 14-month “reign of terror.”

The injunction was important because the Supreme Court won’t be meeting until late September to consider cases that will be heard in the coming year, according to Florida-based Liberty Counsel, which is representing Calvary Chapel.


ChurchLeaders original article written on July 29, 2021 below.

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A Maine church that sued over coronavirus restrictions last year is taking a preemptive legal strike against future restrictions associated with a variant of the virus that’s spreading across the country.

Calvary Chapel in Orrington is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to stop Democratic Gov. Janet Mills from enforcing or reinstating any pandemic-related restrictions due to the delta variant.

The state responded by noting that the governor’s civil emergency already expired, making the lawsuit unnecessary.

“For more than two months, there have been no restrictions whatsoever on the size of gatherings, and the state of emergency expired at the end of June. Given that, we are disappointed that Calvary Chapel continues to waste public and judicial resources by attempting to litigate an issue that is now moot,” said Marc Malon, spokesperson for the attorney general’s office.

But church officials are worried that restrictions could be reinstated. Describing Mills’ previous restrictions as a 14-month “reign of terror,” church officials claimed in their request for a preemptive injunction that any restrictions would violate their religious liberties protected by the Constitution.

“No pastor, church, or parishioner in America should have to choose between worship and criminal sanction flowing from demonstrably discriminatory restrictions,” the church’s attorney wrote.

The Supreme Court has heard similar requests on behalf of religious organizations and lifted limits in California.

The injunction request was filed last week, pending a Supreme Court decision on whether to hear the case.

The injunction is important because the Supreme Court won’t be meeting until late September to consider cases that will be heard in the coming year, according to Florida-based Liberty Counsel, which is representing Calvary Chapel.

In other pandemic-related news:

VACCINES AND SCHOOLS

Maine is going to support free coronavirus vaccine clinics in schools and promote education about vaccines as part of a push to protect schools from the virus.

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services and Maine Department of Education said Wednesday they’re working on the effort in the wake of new guidance from the federal government. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended universal masking in schools.

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David Sharp and Patrick Whittle are reporters for the The Associated Press.