Judge Ruling On Removal Of Labor Mural Artfully Avoids Mentioning It Looks Like A Special Needs Third-Grader’s Collage

Maine labor mural collage

BANGOR, Maine — A federal judge on Friday ruled in favor of Gov. Paul LePage in a lawsuit concerning the governor’s controversial removal of a Department of Labor mural, saying LePage’s action amounted to “government speech.” In a 90-page opinion, U.S. District Judge John A. Woodcock Jr. granted motions for summary judgment in favor of LePage and members of his administration. The judge also dismissed two counts of an amended complaint filed by the plaintiffs. The decision essentially denied a trial of the lawsuit seeking to compel LePage to restore the mural to the walls of the Department of Labor building in Augusta. “The prospect of [hauling] a sitting governor into federal court to be cross-examined under oath as to why he made a political decision may momentarily cheer the partisan,” Woodcock wrote. “But the long-term implications of federal court intervention in state politics are sobering.” The judge said that because Maine owns the mural, it is free to do what it wants with the artwork. (read more at the Bangor Daily News)