Today, Liberty Counsel filed an application for injunction pending disposition of the petition for writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of more than 2,000 Maine health care workers. Liberty Counsel will also file the petition for writ of certiorari asking the High Court to review the case since there is now a split in the circuits, with the First Circuit (governing Maine) denying injunctive relief and the Second Circuit (governing New York), granting injunctive relief regarding virtually identical factual and legal issues. The governors of both states issued executive orders mandating that all health care workers get the COVID shots. They further stated that there would be no religious exemptions considered even though federal law protecting the sincerely held religious beliefs of employees preempts state law.
However, today Liberty Counsel is asking the High Court for immediate relief for these health care workers until it decides to review this case.
Yesterday, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer denied the emergency injunction pending appeal without prejudice meaning he left the door open for Liberty Counsel to refile if the First Circuit Court of Appeals denied relief on the merits of the preliminary injunction appeal or if the First Circuit did not rule by October 29. Shortly thereafter on the same day, the First Circuit did rule and denied the merits of the preliminary injunction appeal.
Now that the First Circuit issued its final decision, Liberty Counsel again filed a request for an emergency injunction pending disposition of a petition for certiorari. The petition for certiorari will be filed later. The Supreme Court’s intervention is necessary because of the immediate emergency and current split decisions among the circuit courts of appeal.
Governor Mills has threatened to revoke the licenses of all health care employers who fail to mandate that all employees receive the COVID-19 injection, despite the unconstitutional fact that she is discriminating against religious employees who decline vaccination while favoring those who decline for secular, medical reasons. The governor originally stated health care workers must receive a COVID-19 injection by October 1 and then extended the deadline for compliance to October 29. However, this required that plaintiffs had to accept the first injection that violates their sincerely held religious beliefs by no later than Friday, October 15, 2021.
Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “We have returned to the U.S. Supreme Court to obtain relief for these health care heroes against Governor Janet Mills’ illegal edict. There is no question that Gov. Janet Mills cannot nullify federal law and the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. All Maine health care workers have the legal right to request reasonable accommodation for their sincerely held religious beliefs.”