U.S. Supreme Court

Sotomayor refuses to block vaccine mandate for New York City school employees

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COVID-19 vaccine

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Friday refused to block a vaccine requirement for employees of New York City schools.

Sotomayor denied an emergency request to block the mandate without referring the issue to the full court, report the Washington Post, SCOTUSblog, Law360, the Associated Press and Reuters.

Generally, a denial by an individual justice without referral to the full court “is a sign that the high court believed the request lacked a compelling legal argument,” according to the Washington Post.

Sotomayor handles emergency requests for the region that includes New York.

Last week, the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had allowed the mandate to take effect during an appeal.

The New York City school system is requiring at least one vaccine dose for all employees and contractors who work in person in school settings or buildings.

Four teachers and teaching assistants had requested emergency action by the high court. They had contended that the mandate places an unconstitutional burden on public school employees because it does not allow the option of choosing weekly COVID-19 testing in place of a vaccine.

Religious and medical exemptions are allowed.

News coverage notes that, in August, Justice Amy Coney Barrett also refused to block a vaccine mandate for Indiana University students.

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