A petition has been filed with the U.S. Supreme Court by a church in Bangor, Maine, against the governor's restrictions on in-person worship services.
Gov. Janet Mills allows churches to hold secular gatherings to feed, shelter, and to provide social services and counsel to an unlimited number of people. However, she has restricted religious gatherings to no more than 50 people.
"If the 'mild climate' of California is an insufficient basis for permitting the Governor to force worshippers outside, then it is much more so the case in Maine where there is no such mild climate this time of year," the church argued. "In a country where religious exercise is a fundamental constitutional right, can the First Amendment really be thought to countenance the notion that religious congregants must brave freezing temperatures and driving snow to engage in that constitutional right? Surely not. The First Circuit's decision telling Calvary Chapel to take its religious freedom outside has – quite literally – left them out in the cold in direct conflict with the decisions of this Court."
Liberty Counsel, acting on the behalf of Calvary Chapel, argues that the lower courts have not taken the harm caused by Mills's COVID-19 restrictions on houses of worship seriously.
"The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled against these unconstitutional worship bans, and Governor Janet Mills has continued her draconian restrictions against churches and places of worship," said Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver. "The High Court now must end Governor Mills' unconstitutional actions once and for all."