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U.S. Supreme Court's Sotomayor rejects challenge to N.Y. COVID vaccine mandate

Coronavirus Nov 10, 2022 05:36PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People walk across the plaza of the U.S. Supreme Court building on the first day of the court's new term in Washington, U.S. October 3, 2022. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

By Andrew Chung

(Reuters) -U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Thursday rejected a bid to prevent New York City from enforcing its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for municipal workers against a group teachers, firefighters and others who challenged the policy.

The justice denied an emergency request, received by the court on Nov. 4, to block the policy by individual municipal workers, as well as a group called New Yorkers For Religious Liberty, while their appeal of lower court decisions siding with the city proceeds.

The plaintiffs - firefighters, building inspectors, police officers, emergency medical technicians, teachers, sanitation workers and others - are represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom conservative religious liberty group.

Sotomayor, who is the justice designated by the court to act on emergency matters arising from New York and certain other states, has repeatedly rebuffed challenges to New York City's vaccine mandate including by a police detective in August and public school teachers and assistants last year.

The court as a whole in June refused to take up a religious challenge to New York state's vaccine mandate for healthcare workers.

New York City in August 2021 ordered employees in the largest U.S. public school system to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Two months later, the city ordered all municipal workers to get the vaccine.

The COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have been strongly recommended by federal health officials and public health experts. But many Americans have refused to get vaccinated.

The plaintiffs in the latest challenges also contend that forcing them to take the vaccine violates the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment bar on religious discrimination.

Among the plaintiffs' claims is opposition to any COVID-19 vaccine whose testing or development relied on cell lines from aborted fetuses.

The COVID-19 vaccines used in the United States do not contain aborted fetal cells. Laboratory-grown cells that descended from the cells of an aborted fetus obtained decades ago were used in the testing process. The Vatican issued guidance to Catholics in 2020 that it is morally acceptable to use COVID-19 vaccines.

The plaintiffs challenged the city in three lawsuits, but federal judges ruled against them in August. The Manhattan-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in October denied an injunction pending appeal in the cases.

U.S. Supreme Court's Sotomayor rejects challenge to N.Y. COVID vaccine mandate
 

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Comments (5)
William Smith
William Smith Nov 20, 2022 11:38PM ET
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Vaccines authorized by the FDA without adequate studies, time evaluation or meeting long term safety tests. Unprecedented for lack of safety control data.
Jack Peterson
Jack Peterson Nov 11, 2022 8:57AM ET
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Do what your Government Overlords tell you to do!! Lol
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Nov 10, 2022 2:14PM ET
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Should include a testing alternative.
Jack Peterson
Jack Peterson Nov 10, 2022 2:14PM ET
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Hello Brad…
S N
S N Nov 10, 2022 2:05PM ET
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Forced Compliance at this point amounts to nothing more than the authoritarian muscle flexing.
R Hunter Bidet
R Hunter Bidet Nov 10, 2022 11:54AM ET
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My body, my choice?
First Last
First Last Nov 10, 2022 11:54AM ET
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It is your choice w/ your body, but not your choice to put others' bodies at higher risk or getting infected.  And getting infected is kinda like getting vaccinated.  So don't go forcing "vaccinations" w/ live virus on others.
First Last
First Last Nov 10, 2022 11:54AM ET
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* "higher risk OF getting infected"
First Last
First Last Nov 10, 2022 11:54AM ET
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Also, people who are anti ******choice should shouldn't be pro-vaccine choice.
First Last
First Last Nov 10, 2022 11:54AM ET
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* Also, non-hypocrites who are anti-abor tion choice shouldn't ...
 
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