The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) on Dec. 13 declined to block a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers in New York that does not include religious exemptions.
SCOTUS was considering two emergency challenges to the mandate and decided to allow both of them to stand.
Conservative Associate Justices Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito dissented, saying they would have supported temporarily halting the enforcement of the mandate.
“One can only hope today’s ruling will not be the final chapter in this grim story. Cases like this one may serve as cautionary tales for those who follow. But how many more reminders do we need that ‘the Constitution is not to be obeyed or disobeyed as the circumstances of a particular crisis… may suggest,'” Gorsuch wrote in a 14-page dissent.
Gorsuch also said that the healthcare workers who fail to comply to the mandate would lose their jobs and eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits.
Healthcare workers who filed the lawsuit argued that the lack of religious exemptions from the mandate violated their right to freely exercise their religion.
New York imposed the mandate in August. It earlier allowed religious exemptions but that expired last month.
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