SCOTUS Rejects Bid to Block Covid Vaccine Mandate for NY Health Workers – NBC New York

What to Know

  • The Supreme Courtroom refused Monday to halt a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for well being care staff in New York that doesn’t provide an exemption for non secular causes.
  • The court docket acted on emergency appeals filed by docs, nurses and different medical staff who say they’re being compelled to select between their jobs and spiritual beliefs.
  • New York is one in all simply three states, together with Maine and Rhode Island, that don’t accommodate well being care staff who object to the vaccine on non secular grounds.

The Supreme Courtroom refused Monday to halt a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for well being care staff in New York that doesn’t provide an exemption for non secular causes.

The court docket acted on emergency appeals filed by docs, nurses and different medical staff who say they’re being compelled to select between their jobs and spiritual beliefs.

As is typical in such appeals, the court docket didn’t clarify its order, though it has equally refused to get in the way in which of vaccine mandates elsewhere.

Justices Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented. “Now, thousands of New York healthcare workers face the loss of their jobs and eligibility for unemployment benefits,” Gorsuch wrote in a 14-page opinion that Alito joined.

New York is one in all simply three states, together with Maine and Rhode Island, that don’t accommodate well being care staff who object to the vaccine on non secular grounds.

The court docket had beforehand turned away well being care staff in Maine, who filed an analogous problem, with the identical three justices in dissent.

As of Oct. 19, roughly 90% of well being care staff have been totally vaccinated and a lot of the relaxation had obtained one in all two doses, the state instructed the excessive court docket. Fewer than 2% of nursing dwelling, grownup care facility and hospital staff had sought a spiritual exemption, the state stated.

In his dissent, Gorsuch drew a hyperlink between the well being care staff and the World Battle II-era Jehovah’s Witnesses schoolchildren who refused on non secular grounds to stand and salute the American flag for the Pledge of Allegiance.

The court docket at first refused to intervene when a public faculty in Pennsylvania expelled the youngsters. However three years later, the justices overruled the sooner case in a landmark resolution that declared colleges couldn’t power college students to salute the flag or recite the pledge.

“Today, our Nation faces not a world war but a pandemic. Like wars, though, pandemics often produce demanding new social rules aimed at protecting collective interests — and with those rules can come fear and anger at individuals unable to conform for religious reasons,” Gorsuch wrote.

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