Maine Health Care Workers Reply to SCOTUS for Emergency Relief

Oct 27, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Around 2:00 a.m. this morning, Liberty Counsel filed its reply brief to the U.S. Supreme Court seeking immediate relief for more than 2,000 health care workers. Maine Gov. Janet Mills ordered that all health care workers be fully “vaccinated” by Friday, October 29, or be terminated. Under her order, any health care or dental employer that grants employees religious accommodation will lose their license to do business. 

Justice Stephen Breyer ordered the state to respond by Monday, October 25, to Liberty Counsel’s request for immediate relief for health care workers. Liberty Counsel will later file a petition for writ of certiorari 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.

Maine assumes that all medical exemptions, no matter how trivial, must be preserved to “ensur[e] healthcare workers remain healthy and able to provide care to patients.” However, the state ignores the consequences that religious health care workers will no longer be “able to provide care to patients” when they are fired or forced off-site. 

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “Liberty Counsel is asking the High Court to grant immediate relief to Maine health care workers against Maine’s unconstitutional mandate. The Maine governor cannot override federal law and discriminate against those with sincerely held religious beliefs.” 

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