A group of New York doctors, nurses, and other medical workers filed an emergency appeal to halt the state’s COVID-19 jab mandate on healthcare workers.
In their appeal, the medical professionals stated they were forced to choose between their jobs and religious beliefs.
New York is one of three states, along with Maine and Rhode Island, that does not accommodate healthcare workers that refuse vaccinations on religious grounds.
Earlier this year, the Supreme Court ruled in a 6-3 decision to turn away Maine healthcare workers that filed a similar appeal.
The court made the same ruling for New York healthcare workers and refused to block the state’s COVID-19 jab mandate that denies religious exemptions.
BREAKING: The Supreme Court refuses to block a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for New York state health care workers who sought a religious exemption. The court had previously turned away health care workers in Maine, who filed a similar challenge. https://t.co/fFofqP9Trv
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 13, 2021
— Reuters (@Reuters) December 13, 2021
The Supreme Court allows New York's vaccine mandate for health-care workers to stay in place https://t.co/LXplyqtnFf
— Bloomberg (@business) December 13, 2021
Justices Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented. “Now, thousands of New York healthcare workers face the loss of their jobs and eligibility for unemployment benefits,” Gorsuch wrote in a 14-page opinion that Alito joined.
JUST IN: The US Supreme Court has turned away two emergency requests from health care workers, doctors and nurses in New York to block the state's vaccine mandate. Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas dissented. https://t.co/oEWJjObKqf
— CNN International (@cnni) December 13, 2021
Some nurses and doctors in New York sued over the state's COVID-19 vaccine mandate because it did not include a religious exemption. https://t.co/4IKEMbAYbO
— Poughkeepsie Journal (@PokJournal) December 13, 2021
As FOX News mentioned, the litigation battle continues in the lower courts:
The vaccine mandate for health care workers, which went into effect in August, allows only for medical exemptions but not religious ones. The Supreme Court turned away two applications from doctors and nurses in the state for injunctive relief to allow religious exemptions while litigation continues in the lower courts over the mandate’s constitutionality.
Gorsuch wrote in his dissent that the mandate turns away the very doctors and nurses the state has depended on throughout the course of the pandemic.
“We do all this even though the State’s executive decree clearly interferes with the free exercise of religion—and does so seemingly based on nothing more than fear and anger at those who harbor unpopular religious beliefs,” Gorsuch wrote.
“We allow the State to insist on the dismissal of thousands of medical workers—the very same individuals New York has depended on and praised for their service on the pandemic’s front lines over the last 21 months,” he continued. “To add insult to injury, we allow the State to deny these individuals unemployment benefits too. One can only hope today’s ruling will not be the final chapter in this grim story.”
While the final chapter in this battle has yet to be written, it’s a grim outlook of how the majority of our Supreme Court views religious exemptions to vaccine mandates.