Covid Amplifies Appeal Over Speech Rights of Health Care Workers

A hospital worker who was fired for complaining to a newspaper about staffing practices got a sympathetic ear at the First Circuit Wednesday, in a case that has drawn national attention due to the large number of health care workers who have recently been terminated for speaking out about inadequate protection during the pandemic.

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Church’s Appeal

The First Circuit ruled a “jurisdictional barrier” prevents it from deciding the merits of a church’s claims against Maine Governor Janet Mills over her Covid-19-related executive orders limiting nonessential activities. The church appealed the denial of its request for a temporary restraining order, which “falls outside the boundaries” of the circuit court’s appellate jurisdiction.

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Numbers Don’t Bode Well for Tribe’s Appeal on Rights to Maine River

A Native American tribe that claims the right to regulate fishing, boating and other recreation on one of Maine’s most important rivers found itself paddling upstream Tuesday in the First Circuit, but it made considerable progress nonetheless.

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Energy Antitrust

The First Circuit upheld the dismissal of a wholesale energy purchaser’s lawsuit against two New England energy companies accused of violating antitrust laws by manipulating natural gas pipeline capacity. The suit was brought after economists published a report alleging the companies increased electricity prices each year by about 20% by “buying up and refusing to release excess transmission capacity on the Algonquin pipeline.”

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