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Sotomayor Throws Out NYPD Challenge To City Vaccine Mandate

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor rejected a bid to block New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Sotomayor rejected a request from New York Police Department detective Anthony Marciano, who asked the justice to reinstate a temporary restraining order against the city regarding its mandate for city workers.

Supreme Court justices are in charge of overseeing one of more circuit courts in the country. Sotomayor, an Obama appointee, received the application because she handles applications from the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which includes New York.

“The order was issued by a New York judge in late 2021 but dissolved by a federal court, which later threw out Marciano’s complaint. An appeals court rejected a request for a stay pending appeal, leading to the request to Sotomayor,” Epoch Times reported. “In a brief, Marciano through a lawyer said that the mandate is violating his due process rights and causing him irreparable harm. He also said the mandate violates state and federal law.”

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“A majority of this Court would likely agree the Mayor of the City of New York has no executive authority that permits him to mandate an EUA Covid 19 vaccination, that is prohibited under existing NYS and federal laws from being imposed on any adult in NYC, employee or otherwise. Nonetheless, the challenged adult vaccination mandate requires all NYC municipal workers receive an EUA Covid 19 vaccination, with or without requisite informed consent, and/or with or without a Judicial Order of Quarantine PHL §2120 (3), required by state and federal law, or be fired,” the brief stated.

Detective Marciano applied for a religious exemption to the mandate but his request was denied.

Last year, New York Supreme Court Judge Frank Nervo blocked Marciano’s request for a religious exemption. Nervo held that New York City health authorities have the legal authority to impose vaccine mandates.

Marciano went to federal court and U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff, a Clinton appointee, dismissed the suit.

The appeals court ruled that New York City’s mandate “empowers the Department with ‘jurisdiction to regulate all matters affecting health in the city of New York and to perform all those functions and operations performed by the city that relate to the health of the people of the city,” including in matters relating to the “control of communicable and chronic disease and conditions hazardous to life and health.”

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“The same can be said about Board’s requirement that City employees and contractors be vaccinated against COVID-19,” Rakoff added.

The case will remain with the appeals court, where Marciano could receive a favorable ruling.

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The U.S. Supreme Court blocked President Biden’s coronavirus vaccination-or-testing mandate for large businesses back in January.

“Biden voiced disappointment with the conservative-majority court’s decision to halt his administration’s rule requiring vaccines or weekly COVID-19 tests for employees at businesses with at least 100 employees. Biden said it now is up to states and employers to decide whether to require workers ‘to take the simple and effective step of getting vaccinated,'” Reuters reported.

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“The court was divided in both cases, centering on pandemic-related federal regulations at a time of escalating coronavirus infections driven by the Omicron variant in a nation that leads the world with more than 845,000 COVID-19 deaths. It ruled 6-3, with the six conservative justices in the majority and three liberal justices dissenting, in blocking the rule involving large businesses – a policy that applied to more than 80 million employees,” the outlet added.

“The vote was 5-4 to allow the healthcare worker rule, which requires vaccination for about 10.3 million workers at 76,000 healthcare facilities including hospitals and nursing homes that accept money from the Medicare and Medicaid government health insurance programs for elderly, disabled, and low-income Americans. Two conservatives, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, joined the liberals in the majority in that case,” Reuters continued.

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