“Maine Health Care Workers Seek Emergency Relief from SCOTUS
Oct 18, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Liberty Counsel filed an emergency injunction pending appeal (IPA) to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of more than 2,000 health care workers against Governor Janet Mills, health officials of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention and five of Maine’s largest hospital systems. The IPA went to Justice Stephen Breyer for review. https://lc.org/101821SCOTUSMainePetitionWritofInjunctionPendingAppeal.pdf
Gov. Janet Mills’ “COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate” purports to override both Title VII employment law and the First Amendment Free Exercise clause. Her discriminatory order mandates the shots and states health care workers cannot raise religious exemptions claims. This edict would force numerous doctors, nurses, medical professionals and other health care workers to choose between the exercise of their sincerely held religious beliefs and their employment.
However, Maine is required to abide by federal law to provide protections to employees who have sincerely held religious objections to the COVID-19 shots. In fact, there can be no dispute that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits the governor and health officials from discriminating against health care workers on the basis of their sincerely held religious beliefs.
Gov. 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 is asking the High Court to rule that: 1) Governor Mills will not enforce her unconstitutional mandate so that plaintiff John Doe 1 must force his employees to receive a COVID-19 injection and not provide a religious exemption or accommodation for his employees in violation of his and their sincerely held religious beliefs;
2) Defendants will immediately cease in their refusal to consider, review, and grant plaintiffs’ requests for religious exemption and accommodation from the governor’s “COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate,” provided that plaintiffs agree to abide by reasonable accommodation provisions such as masking, testing, symptom monitoring and reporting; and
3) Defendants will immediately cease threatening to discharge and terminate plaintiffs from their employment for failure to accept a COVID-19 “vaccine” that violates their sincerely held religious beliefs.
Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “We are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene and give immediate relief to these health care heroes against Governor Janet Mills’ illegal edict. The governor cannot override federal law and force health care workers to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs by forcing them to inject an experimental substance. All Maine health care workers have the legal right to request reasonable accommodation for their sincerely held religious beliefs and forcing COVID shots without exemptions is unlawful.”
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Under review by Justice Breyer doesn’t sound very hopeful, but we will soon see: “Breyer expounded his judicial philosophy in 2005 in Active Liberty: Interpreting Our Democratic Constitution. In it, Breyer urges judges to interpret legal provisions (of the Constitution or of statutes) in light of the purpose of the text and how well the consequences of specific rulings fit those purposes. The book is considered a response to the 1997 book A Matter of Interpretation, in which Antonin Scalia emphasized adherence to the original meaning of the text alone.
In Active Liberty, Breyer argues that the Framers of the Constitution sought to establish a democratic government involving the maximum liberty for its citizens. Breyer refers to Isaiah Berlin’s Two Concepts of Liberty. The first Berlinian concept, being what most people understand by liberty, is “freedom from government coercion”. Berlin termed this “negative liberty” and warned against its diminution; Breyer calls this “modern liberty”. The second Berlinian concept – “positive liberty” – is the “freedom to participate in the government”. In Breyer’s terminology, this is the “active liberty” the judge should champion. Having established what “active liberty” is, and positing the primary importance (to the Framers) of this concept over the competing idea of “negative liberty”, Breyer makes a predominantly utilitarian case for rulings that give effect to the democratic intentions of the Constitution.
In 2010, Breyer published a second book, Making Our Democracy Work: A Judge’s View. There, Breyer argued that judges have six tools they can use to determine a legal provision’s proper meaning: (1) its text; (2) its historical context; (3) precedent; (4) tradition; (5) its purpose; and (6) the consequences of potential interpretations. Textualists, like Scalia, only feel comfortable using the first four of these tools; while pragmatists, like Breyer, believe that “purpose” and “consequences” are particularly important interpretative tools.…” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Breyer