The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from Calvary Chapel in Orrington over potential COVID-19 restrictions.

Pastor Ken Graves filed a lawsuit against Governor Janet Mills earlier this year, when the COVID-19 numbers began to rise again, due to the Delta Variant. The purpose of the lawsuit was to fend off any potential pandemic guidelines that could restrict in-person worship services.

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Maine courts rejected the suit, calling it unnecessary since Governor Mills' executive orders had expired before the lawsuit was filed and no such restrictions were expected. Pastor Graves appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. On August 2nd, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer denied the petition, without any discussion with his colleagues. Calvary Chapel appealed that decision, but it was denied, once again, on Monday.

The issues between church administrators and the Governor have been ongoing, since Mills' first began putting restrictions on gathering in public. In May of 2020, church officials planned to defy the governor's emergency order that banned in-person gatherings. The original plan was to hold the services inside the church, and a lawsuit was filed, calling the governor's regulations unconstitutional.

But when the judge ruled in favor of Governor Mills, saying that her decision was not anti-worship but was in the best interest of public health, the church's plan was amended. Parishioners sat in their vehicles, in the church parking lot, while Pastor Ken Graves delivered his sermon from a balcony on the side of the building. Calvary Chapel is located in a converted schoolhouse on Route 15 in Orrington.

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