Liberal SCOTUS Justice Sotomayor rejects an appeal from unvaccinated NYC workers who lost their jobs

Fox News reports that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has just rejected an emergency request from unvaccinated New York City workers who were fired during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

New York City is one of those areas of the country that implemented a coronavirus mandate requiring city workers – firefighters, teachers, police officers, and more – to get vaccinated.

Many complied by getting vaccinated, while others sought a religious exemption to the mandate. The city, however, turned down a large number of these religious exemption requests, which ultimately led to these workers’ termination.

The workers have responded with a lawsuit challenging the legality of the COVID mandate. This lawsuit is currently at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

The workers seek emergency relief

While that lawsuit continues to work its way through the judicial system, the workers filed an emergency application with the U.S. Supreme Court. The point of the application is to stop the city from enforcing its vaccine mandate while the legality of the mandate is being litigated.

The workers made several arguments in their application, including that the mandate is a violation of the First Amendment’s protection of their religious rights.

The workers, for example, argued that the mandate violates their right to “freely exercise their faith by forcing them to choose” between either taking a vaccine that goes against their “sincere religious beliefs” or losing their jobs.

Justice Sotomayor, however, turned a deaf ear to the workers’ plea.

Sotomayor’s denial

On Thursday, Sotomayor rejected the workers’ application for emergency relief. Sotomayor did not explain her decision and she did not consult other members of the U.S. Supreme Court.

It ought to be made clear that each justice has the power to unilaterally make such decisions when a matter like this comes before them from a part of the country that they oversee. Sotomayor oversees the New York area.

It also ought to be made clear that this doesn’t mean that the workers’ lawsuit is now hopeless: Sotomayor’s decision is not a ruling on the merits of the case. But, the disappointing news for the workers is that, while the litigation continues, the Supreme Court is going to allow the city to enforce the mandate against them.

These people have lost their livelihoods simply because they refused to take a vaccine that neither stops the spread nor stops the contraction of the coronavirus. That’s insanity. And, what’s more, is that it’s unjust.

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