A group of Maine business owners will no longer fight their appeal of the governor’s restrictions on reopening during the coronavirus pandemic.

The owners filed a federal lawsuit against Gov. Janet Mills in May, asking a judge to declare the restrictions on their operations during a pandemic unconstitutional. A U.S. District Court judge dismissed the suit in August, saying the plaintiffs failed to state a claim for which they could be given relief.

Three business owners – a wedding disc jockey, a security consultant and a hairdresser – then asked the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston to reverse that decision. But the parties had not yet submitted briefs when attorney Stephen Smith filed a motion for voluntary dismissal this week. The court granted that motion Wednesday.

In an email, Smith said the litigation about the pandemic has “evolved significantly” in recent months. He pointed to another case filed in June, when the owners of four restaurants in southern Maine also sued the governor over her reopening plan. The plaintiffs also filed for dismissal in that case, Smith said, because the governor quickly changed the policy.

“We believe strongly that our clients and the state of Maine have been harmed by the governor’s actions and are actively looking for new cases to fit the current legal landscape,” Smith wrote. “It is shameful that the Legislature, which embodies the will of the people of Maine, has completely abdicated its responsibility to the people and allowed Gov. Mills to rule unchecked.”

A spokesman for the Maine Attorney General’s office, which represented the state, said he did not have any comment.

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