Maine’s COVID vaccine mandate with no religious exemption upheld by SCOTUS ruling

With a conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court, many believed there was at least a fair chance that the high court would at least consider the notion of blocking Maine’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers that does not allow for religious exemptions.

But according to the Daily Caller, that was far from the case, as SCOTUS not only upheld the state’s draconian mandate, but also refused to offer reasoning as to why they upheld it. 

The result came after an emergency application was filed on behalf of a group of unvaccinated healthcare workers who claimed that because of the no religious exemption rule, their religious freedoms had been violated.

The dissenters

The silver lining is the fact that three of the high court’s conservatives, Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch, dissented, arguing that Maine failed to provide proof that allowing religious exemptions would be a public safety issue.

“As we have seen, Maine has so far failed to present any evidence that granting religious exemptions to the applicants would threaten its stated public health interests any more than its medical exemption already does,” the dissenting opinion read.

It added: “This case presents an important constitutional question, a serious error, and an irreparable injury.”

“Where many other States have adopted religious exemptions, Maine has charted a different course. There, healthcare workers who have served on the front line of a pandemic for the last 19 months are now being fired and their practices shuttered,” the three conservative justices added.

Notably, Justice Amy Coney Barrett ruled with the majority on the decision, noting afterward that she didn’t have the time to read the oral brief and hear the arguments in order to arrive a decision one way or another.

Not the first time

SCOTUS has come under fire several times over the past several months for refusing to intervene in state-issued COVID-19 vaccine mandates, as USA Today noted.

New York City teachers who sought temporary relief from the mandate were ultimately shut down, along with a similar case filed by a group of students at Indiana University.

While it will take some time, the hope at this point is that all of the cases being waged across the country will ultimately be back in the Supreme Court where the justices can determine a ruling based on the merits of each case, which many believe will result in a pushback against the mandates, citing their constitutionality.

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