U.S. Supreme Court rejects religious challenge to Maine vaccine mandate
Category: News & PoliticsVia: hallux • one month ago • 44 comments
By: Lawrence Hurley - Reuters
WASHINGTON, Oct 29 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday turned away healthcare workers seeking a religious exemption to Maine's COVID-19 vaccine mandate in the latest battle over vaccination to reach the justices.
The court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, rejected a request made by nine unnamed plaintiffs who identified themselves as healthcare workers who object to receiving the shots on religious grounds. The court previously rejected challenges to vaccine mandates in New York and Indiana, though those cases did not involve religious objections.
The justices were divided, with three conservative members saying they would 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 all healthcare workers in the state be fully vaccinated by the beginning of October, but the state said it would not enforce it until Friday.
The governor said such workers perform a critical role in protecting the health of Maine's residents and that every precaution needed to be taken to protect against the spread of the coronavirus, especially in light of the presence of …
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