Calvary Chapel of Bangor v. Janet Mills (U.S.C.A. 1st Circuit, 2020)

Separation of Church & State
Free Exercise of Religion

1st Circuit Court of Appeals ,

Separation of Church & State
Free Exercise of Religion

At issue in this case is a church invoking the Free Exercise Clause to seek a full exemption from a Maine coronavirus public-health order that equally limits religious and secular communal gatherings to 50 people or less. In rejecting this claim, the legal brief joined by ADL asserts that the order is fully consistent with all Free Exercise Clause standards. Furthermore, the sought exemption is not a permissible religious accommodation. It would violate the Establishment Clause by favoring the church’s religious practices (requiring in-person worship) over other faiths, which would jeopardize the health of others.