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Liberty Counsel will present oral argument to the U.S. District Court in Maine on Monday, Dec. 4 in Alicia Lowe, et al., v. Janet Mills to argue the case should keep moving forward despite Maine Governor Janet Mills’ attempt to stop it.

Governor Mills argues the case should be dismissed because the state no longer mandates the COVID shot for healthcare employees. However, Liberty Counsel will argue the case should proceed on the merits because the State of Maine already caused illegal harm to the healthcare workers by unlawfully prohibiting the state’s hospitals from granting their religious exemptions. The state did so by previously removing religious accommodations from its compulsory immunization law. Governor Mills went several steps further and ordered employers to deny all religious exemptions and ignore the federal employment law known as Title VII that affords employees the right to request reasonable accommodation for their sincere religious beliefs. Governor Mills also threatened to revoke the licenses of all health care employers who failed to mandate the shot to their employees.

Liberty Counsel argues these constitutional errors resulted in the hospitals firing the workers and caused harm by forcing them to choose between their livelihoods or violating their religious beliefs over an experimental drug. Simply rescinding the shot mandate does not erase the significant injury to these healthcare workers that has already occurred. In addition, the law with no provision for religious exemptions remains in effect preventing the state from guaranteeing this will not happen again in the future.

Even though U.S. District Judge Jon Levy initially dismissed the case in August 2022, the First Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that dismissal based on First Amendment and Equal Protection claims. The Appeals Court sent it back to Judge Levy for discovery. Despite the ruling allowing the case to proceed for discovery, Governor Mills continues to attempt to dismiss the litigation to avoid accountability.

Liberty Counsel represents the seven health care workers against five of the state’s largest hospital systems which include: MaineHealth, Genesis Healthcare of Maine, MaineGeneral Health, and Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center.

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “Maine cannot ignore federal law by summarily dismissing employees who have sincerely held religious objections to the experimental COVID shots. Governor Mills cannot create her own law that ignores the Free Exercise Clause or Title VII. The merits of this case cry out for justice because the state has failed to guarantee it will not repeat its unconstitutional actions in the future. Governor Mills must be held accountable for the injury she has already caused.”

Author: Liberty Counsel


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