The court docket acted on emergency appeals filed by medical doctors, nurses and different medical employees who say they’re being compelled to decide on between their jobs and non secular beliefs.
As is typical in such appeals, the court docket didn’t clarify its order, though it has equally refused to get in the way in which of vaccine mandates elsewhere.
Justices Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented. “Now, 1000’s of New York well being care employees face the lack of their jobs and eligibility for unemployment advantages,” Gorsuch wrote in a 14-page opinion that Alito joined.
New York is one in all simply three states, together with Maine and Rhode Island, that don’t accommodate well being care employees who object to the vaccine on spiritual grounds.
The court docket had beforehand turned away well being care employees in Maine, who filed an analogous problem, with the identical three justices in dissent.
As of Oct. 19, roughly 90% of well being care employees have been absolutely vaccinated and many of the relaxation had acquired one in all two doses, the state advised the excessive court docket. Fewer than 2% of nursing dwelling, grownup care facility and hospital employees had sought a non secular exemption, the state stated.
In his dissent, Gorsuch drew a hyperlink between the well being care employees and the World Warfare II-era Jehovah’s Witnesses schoolchildren who refused on spiritual grounds to face and salute the American flag for the Pledge of Allegiance.
The court docket at first refused to intervene when a public college in Pennsylvania expelled the kids. However three years later, the justices overruled the sooner case in a landmark resolution that declared faculties couldn’t power college students to salute the flag or recite the pledge.
“As we speak, our Nation faces not a world conflict however a pandemic. Like wars, although, pandemics typically produce demanding new social guidelines aimed toward defending collective pursuits — and with these guidelines can come concern and anger at people unable to evolve for spiritual causes,” Gorsuch wrote.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Related Press contributed to this report.)