The Supreme Court declined Monday to block New York’s vaccine mandate for health care workers — one that has an exception for medical reasons but none for religious objections.
The court denied a request for a temporary order to block the requirement while lawsuits against it proceed. The denial came in a one-sentence order with no explanation, which is the normal procedure when such a request is denied.
Conservative Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch said the court should have issued an injunction to block enforcement of the mandate.
When New York announced the requirement in August, it contained exemptions for both medical and religious reasons. But the state later revised it to remove the ability to receive an exception on religious grounds.
A group of doctors and nurses sued, but lower federal courts declined to block the mandate.
In a 14-page dissent, joined by Alito, Gorsuch said the record in the case “practically exudes suspicion of those who hold unpopular religious beliefs.” He said the state failed to show that accommodating the religious objectors would make any meaningful difference in protecting public health.