Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer on Tuesday declined to hear an emergency appeal regarding a religious challenge to a vaccine mandate for health care workers in Maine.
Maine Governor Janet Mills announced the vaccine mandate back in August, leaving health care workers to get their COVID shots by October 29th or risk termination without unemployment benefits.
The petitioner’s motion argues that the order by Mills allows for medical exemptions but denies the opportunity for religious exemptions, which they argue “violates the First Amendment.”
Breyer “denied without prejudice” the application but advised the challengers that they could make another request pending a ruling by the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on their case.
Reuters reports that shortly after Breyer’s order, “the Boston-based appeals court ruled against the healthcare workers, setting up the case to return to the Supreme Court.”
Breyer’s rejection of a challenge to a vaccine mandate for Maine health care workers isn’t the first time the Supreme Court has failed to protect Americans who have religious concerns.
Earlier this month, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a further-left-leaning member of the bench, refused to block New York City’s requirement that public school teachers and employees be vaccinated.
Sotomayor was disinterested in the argument, opting not to refer the matter to the full court, declining to request the New York City Department of Education file a response, and refusing comment on her denial.
A recent poll by Selzer suggests Americans are increasingly convinced that the Supreme Court bases decisions on political leaning rather than an application of the law.
More than 6 in 10 respondents to the poll believe the Court has become too political.
Lest you think the conservative justices, however, are going to rescue Americans from the tyranny of vaccine mandates, keep in mind that Amy Coney Barrett, an appointee of President Donald Trump, denied a bid to block one such effort in August by Indiana University students.
She too acted alone and did not refer the matter to the full court.
While the Supreme Court seems disinterested in protecting Americans when it comes to vaccine mandates, there are still challenges being picked up on the right.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis threatened to take President Biden to court over the administration’s extensive vaccine mandate, arguing that he has no right to take jobs away from essential workers.
“Let’s not have Biden come in and effectively take away — threaten to take away — the jobs of people who have been working hard throughout this entire pandemic,” DeSantis said. “I am offended that a police officer could potentially lose their job.”
Last week, Chicago Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) president John Catanzara urged officers to defy Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
“I’ve made my status very clear as far as the vaccine, but I do not believe the city has the authority to mandate that to anybody let alone that information about your medical history,” he said.
Conservative radio host Dan Bongino stood up for other workers when he threatened to quit his highly successful radio program over his broadcast company’s vaccine mandate.
“I believe these vaccine mandates are unethical. I believe they’re immoral,” Bongino told listeners. “I believe they don’t take into account the science of natural immunity due to a prior infection.”
With the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling, the attempt to block Maine’s vaccine mandate for health care workers is expected to be appealed to the Supreme Court.
Will they finally listen to the argument this time?
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