A group of medical professionals who claimed they were treated discriminatorily because of Maine’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate had their lawsuit dismissed by a federal judge.
The plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the state of Maine, its Democratic governor Janet Mills, and several other officials and healthcare providers there. Since no religious exemption was included in the vaccine mandate, the workers claimed it was a violation of their right to free exercise of religion.
On Thursday, U.S. District Court for the District of Maine Chief Judge Jon Levy ruled that the state’s vaccine mandate was “rationally based” and that “no further analysis is required.”
DOCTORS AND NURSES WHO WERE FORCED TO VACCINATE THEIR PATIENTS WILL RECEIVE A $10 MILLION LEGAL SETTLEMENT
Levy wrote that the government has an interest in preventing the spread of COVID-19, protecting Maine’s healthcare capacity, and protecting the lives and health of Maine people, all of which are served by reducing the number of unvaccinated healthcare workers at designated healthcare facilities in Maine.
Before a federal appeals court in Boston ordered them to come forward in July, the workers had remained anonymous throughout the entirety of the lawsuit. In addition, the workers claimed they had a moral objection to receiving the vaccine because of their belief that it was created using fetal stem cells obtained through abortion.
In a statement released on Friday, Liberty Counsel, the law firm representing the healthcare workers, said it would file an appeal of the termination. The company issued a statement calling Levy’s firing “critically flawed” and “contrary to recent Supreme Court precedent involving COVID restrictions on places of worship and many other Supreme Court decisions.”
In October, the requirement to get vaccinated became law. In January of this year, the Supreme Court of the United States denied the plaintiffs’ request to hear oral arguments in their case. At the time, the Supreme Court gave no reason for its ruling.
Some of the largest health care networks in the state were named as defendants in the lawsuit. Northern Light Health, which is one of those networks, issued a statement on Friday saying that the ruling affirmed the legitimacy of the organization.
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We are pleased that the court fully validated our conduct in this matter and reiterate that our healthcare organization will continue to act in the best interests of our patients and employees even in the face of difficult circumstances.
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