Supreme Court won’t hear challenge to New York vaccine mandate for health care workers

The Supreme Court docket declined Thursday to choose up a legal challenge brought by overall health treatment staff in New York who oppose the state’s vaccination mandate on spiritual grounds.

Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch explained the court ought to have taken the circumstance. 

When the prerequisite was to start with imposed in August to aid stop the spread of the most current coronavirus variant, it authorized exceptions primarily based on health care reasons or spiritual objections. But the spiritual exemption was afterwards removed.  

Gov. Kathy Hochul, who is Roman Catholic, claimed that she was not conscious of any “sanctioned spiritual objection from any structured religion” and that religious leaders, such as the pope, ended up encouraging folks to get vaccinated.

Sixteen wellbeing care workers sued, declaring they experienced religious objections due to the fact fetal cell traces were concerned in the screening, enhancement or output of Covid vaccines. They stated the mandate violated their religious independence since it authorized many others who were being unvaccinated to continue on working. 

Lawyers for the state reported the Covid mandate was similar to prolonged-standing regulations requiring wellness treatment workers to be vaccinated towards measles and rubella. Those prerequisites, too, allow exemptions only for clinical factors. Laboratory-developed stem cells, which derive from cells gathered from a fetus almost 50 decades back, ended up also utilized to take a look at the rubella vaccine, the point out stated. 

“The existence of a single, restricted professional medical exemption to a vaccine necessity does not involve the Point out to deliver a blanket spiritual exemption from vaccination,” they mentioned in their penned submissions. 

Crafting for the 3 dissenters, Thomas mentioned confusion continues to be about a mandate that offers no religious exemption, like New York’s. He mentioned the courtroom must have taken the scenario now to head off related confusion in the foreseeable future. 

In December, the Supreme Court docket declined to briefly block the vaccination requirement in the circumstance. Thomas, Alito and Gorsuch stated then that the courtroom need to have granted the request to set the mandate on keep.   

Due to the fact final tumble, the courtroom has declined to block other vaccination mandates that really do not supply for religious exemptions, applying to New York teachers, Navy sailors, health and fitness care staff in Maine and Massachusetts, and school pupils in Indiana.