A federal district court judge ruled last week that a lawsuit by seven former health employees in Maine can continue, dismissing the absurd argument by Maine’s Democrat governor, Janet Mills, that even though these employees were illegally denied a religious exemption and got fired for not getting the COVID jab, the harm they have endured no longer exists because Mills eventually stopped enforcing her mandate and will repeal it later this month.
The lawsuit in question — Alicia Lowe, et al., v. Janet Mills, et al. — alleges that the State of Maine violated healthcare workers’ First Amendment rights by refusing to allow a religious exemption to the vaccine mandate. The healthcare workers argue that healthcare facilities should have offered reasonable accommodations for employees who objected to the COVID-19 shots for religious reasons.
Because of Mills’ vaccine mandate, which specifically barred any religious exemption, healthcare facilities were unable to offer a testing option for employees. As a result of this, several healthcare workers were fired after requesting a religious exemption to the mandate. Some of those workers have now filed a lawsuit against both members of the state government and their employers.
You can read the judge’s ruling here [pdf]. Though it involves a number of obscure legal precedents, the essence is really plain: You can’t make believe you never fired anyone for not getting the COVID jab mandate for religious reasons, just because you later cancelled the mandate. Those employees still do not have their jobs, and you still violated their rights under numerous civil rights laws as well as several amendments in the Bill of Rights.
As noted the day of the ruling by the non-profit law firm that is representing the fired workers, Liberty Counsel:
Their lawsuit against Governor Mills, health officials of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and five of the state’s largest hospital systems, challenges the Maine law that requires employees of designated Maine health care facilities to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 shot. Governor Mills ordered employers to deny all religious exemptions and ignore the federal employment law known as Title VII that affords employees the right to request reasonable accommodation for their sincere religious beliefs. Governor Mills also threatened to revoke the licenses of all health care employers if they did not abide by her rule. [emphasis mine]
The highlighted sentence in the quote provides a perfect window into the mindset of today’s Democrats: They are above the law and can ignore it at their whim in order to viciously squash any opposition. What makes this abuse of power even worse is that Mills now wants to be made immune from any consequences, simply because she has later canceled her mandate. If that insane precedent is allowed to stand, then future lawmakers could institute any illegal action and get away with by simply cancelling it later, after it has done its harm.
The discovery phase of the lawsuit will now go forward, and will quite easily demonstrate this illegal behavior. If there is still justice in America and we remain a nation of laws, then Mills and the other health officials who teamed up with her to violate the law will then find themselves paying for that illegal behavior.
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