© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A common view of the U.S. Supreme Court constructing in Washington, D.C., U.S. June 25, 2021. REUTERS/Ken Cedeno
By Lawrence Hurley
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday turned away healthcare staff looking for a religious exemption to Maine’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate within the newest battle over vaccination to attain the justices.
The courtroom, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, rejected a request made by 9 unnamed plaintiffs who recognized themselves as healthcare staff who object to receiving the photographs on religious grounds. The courtroom beforehand rejected challenges to vaccine mandates in New York and Indiana, although these circumstances didn’t contain religious objections.
The justices had been divided, with three conservative members saying they’d have granted the request.
In Maine, “healthcare workers who have served on the front line of a pandemic for the last 18 months are now being fired and their practices shuttered,” conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in a dissenting opinion. He was joined by Justice Clarence Thomas and Justice Samuel Alito.
Maine Governor Janet Mills’ administration had required that each one healthcare staff within the state be totally vaccinated https://www.maine.gov/governor/mills/news/mills-administration-requires-health-care-workers-be-fully-vaccinated-against-covid-19-october by the start of October, however the state mentioned it will not implement it till Friday.
The governor mentioned such staff carry out a essential function in defending the well being of Maine’s residents and that each precaution wanted to be taken to defend in opposition to the unfold of the coronavirus, particularly in gentle of the presence of the extremely transmissible Delta variant.
Maine eliminated religious exemptions from mandated vaccines in 2019 – earlier than the pandemic – due to falling vaccination charges. Voters within the state overwhelmingly rejected a referendum difficult the legislation final 12 months.
The state has required hospitals and different healthcare amenities to be sure that staff are vaccinated in opposition to numerous illnesses since 1989.
The challengers argued that the shortage of a religious exemption violated their proper to free train of faith below the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.
A federal choose had earlier rejected https://www.reuters.com/world/us/maine-can-bar-religious-exemptions-covid-vaccine-mandate-judge-rules-2021-10-13 the bid for an exemption.
The conservative-majority Supreme Court, which has been receptive to claims involving religious rights, rejected two earlier challenges to COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor in October refused https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-supreme-courts-sotomayor-lets-new-york-school-vaccine-mandate-remain-2021-10-01 to block New York City’s requirement that public faculty academics and workers be vaccinated. Justice Amy Coney Barrett in August denied https://www.reuters.com/world/us/supreme-courts-barrett-rejects-indiana-university-students-vaccine-mandate-2021-08-12 a bid by Indiana University college students to block that college’s vaccination mandate.
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