A divided Supreme Court on Friday left a vaccine requirement intact for Maine healthcare workers, rejecting the latest legal challenge targeting COVID-19 vaccination mandates to reach justices.
The challengers, a group of Maine health workers, sought to block the requirement on religious grounds.
The state mandate announced in August by the governor. Janet millsJanet Mills The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Uber – Upbeat Democrats after Biden Overnight Health Care Meetings – Presented by Carequest – FDA moves to sell over-the-counter hearing aids Supreme Court will not block vaccine mandate for workers Maine Health PLUS (D), which applies to employees in hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities, took effect on Friday.
Three of the most conservative judges on the court: Neil gorsuchNeil Gorsuch Supreme Court clears path for execution of two death row inmates in Oklahoma All eyes on Garland after Bannon’s contempt vote Locked and charged: Supreme Court is ready for a showdown over Second Amendment MORE, Clarence thomasClarence Thomas: A politicized Supreme Court? That was the point Blocked and loaded: Supreme Court is ready for a showdown over the Second Amendment Two Conservatives resign from Biden’s Supreme Court commission MORE and Samuel AlitoSamuel Alito A politicized Supreme Court? That Was The Blocked And Charged Point: The Supreme Court Is Ready For A Showdown Over The Second Amendment The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented By Altria – Jan.6 Panel Shows Its Strength MORE – It would have ruled in favor of the challengers.
The lawsuit was filed by a Christian group called Liberty Counsel, which said it represented about 2,000 employees who opposed the mandate on religious grounds. Although medical exceptions to the Maine vaccine requirement are recognized, religious exemptions are not.
“Healthcare workers who have worked on the front lines of a pandemic for the past 18 months are now being laid off and their practices closed,” Gorsuch wrote, along with the other two dissidents. “All for adhering to their constitutionally protected religious beliefs. Your plight is worthy of our attention. I would grant relief. “
Justice Amy coney barrettAmy Coney Barrett The Democratic Senate attacks the Supreme Court on the first anniversary of Barrett’s confirmation. That was the MORE point, accompanied by colleagues from the conservative justice Brett kavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughCollins Cast 8,000 Consecutive Roll Call Votes In Senate Huma Abedin Writes In New Book That She Was Sexually Assaulted By US Senator Locked and Loaded: The Supreme Court Is Ready For A Showdown Over The Second Amendment MORE, wrote an opinion concurring with the denial of the court.
A federal judge in Maine earlier this month ruled against Liberty Counsel. Two days later, a Boston-based federal appeals court in a brief ruling confirmed to the district judge, prompting the first of two requests the group filed with the Supreme Court.
Justice Stephen BreyerStephen Breyer Biden’s “Come On, Man” Defense Will Not Be Based On Religious Freedom A Politicized Supreme Court? That was the point Overnight Health Care – Presented by Carequest – FDA moves to sell hearing aids without a prescription MORE, which handles emergency applications for Maine, unilaterally denied the group’s first emergency request on October 19, but did so “without prejudice,” giving applicants the option to submit another application if circumstances change.
Breyer referred the group’s second emergency request to the entire court, leading to Friday’s ruling rejecting their request.
The latest move by the judges comes after the court rejected similar challenges to vaccine mandates from New York City public school teachers and a group of Indiana University students.