ORRINGTON, Maine — The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear an Orrington church's preemptive legal attack on any future pandemic restrictions.
Calvary Chapel asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stop Democratic Gov. Janet Mills from enforcing or reinstating any pandemic-related restrictions as numbers increase and other states reinstate restrictions and mask mandates due to the delta variant of the coronavirus.
The request was denied Monday 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 contends the lawsuit was unnecessary because the governor’s civil emergency already expired.
Describing Mills' restrictions as a 14-month “reign of terror," church officials claimed 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.
It was in May of 2020 that the Calvary Chapel filed a previous lawsuit against pandemic restrictions.
The church filed a motion for a Temporary Restraining Order, which was denied.
Assistant Pastor Travis Carey said, “We are protected by the constitution to gather and under the first amendment and so people are making that stand and we’re happy to follow our pastor and do the same,"
Despite the failed lawsuits, two outdoor, in-person services were held along with a drive-in service in compliance with the governor's order.