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Maine church seeks preemptive ban on COVID restrictions

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A Maine church that sued over coronavirus restrictions is delivering a preemptive lawsuit against possible new restrictions associated with a variant of the virus that’s spreading across the country.

Calvary Chapel in Orrington is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to stop Democratic Gov. Janet Mills from enforcing or reinstating any pandemic-related restrictions due to the delta variant.

Describing Mills' restrictions as a 14-month “reign of terror," church officials claim 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.

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The Supreme Court has heard similar requests on behalf of religious organizations and lifted limits in California.

The injunction request was filed on July 23, pending a Supreme Court decision on whether to hear the case.