Sunday, June 06, 2021

Church's Suit On COVID Limits Dismissed As Moot

In Calvary Chapel of Bangor v. Mills, (D ME, June 4, 2021), a Maine federal district court dismissed on mootness grounds a church's challenge to Maine Governor Janet Mills now-superseded COVID-19 limits on the number of people permitted to attend worship services. The court said in part:

Governor Mills has not employed a strategy of “moving the goalposts.” The fact that she retains some authority to reimpose restrictions does not mean that she is likely to do so, particularly given her counsel’s statements and her actions thus far. I conclude that the Defendant has demonstrated that it is absolutely clear that Governor Mills cannot reasonably be expected to reinstate the GATHERING ORDERS that are identified in the Complaint.

Previously the court had denied a temporary restraining order, and an appeal of that decision is currently pending in the U.S. Supreme court. Nevertheless, last week's decision was immediately appealed to the U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals. Liberty Counsel issued a press release on the case.