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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has rejected a bid to prevent New York City from enforcing its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for municipal workers against a group of teachers and others who challenged the mandate.
“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,” Reuters reported.
“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,” Reuters added.
Back in August, 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.”
“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.”
“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.