Sotomayor has denied a challenge by four teachers and educators who challenged the policy in a lower court seeking to stop the application of their vaccine mandate. Public school system workers were instructed to be vaccinated by 5pm EDT (2100 GMT) on Friday or on unpaid leave until September 2022.
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Some government and private employers have adopted vaccine orders to protect against the spread of Covid-1 in the workplace as they try to return to somewhat normal after a coronavirus-related outbreak that began last year. Such mandates have become a flashpoint in the United States, with opponents, including those in New York City, saying their constitutional rights are being violated. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, announced Aug. 2 that all 18,000 workers in the largest school district in the United States must submit proof of at least one dose of the Covid-1 vaccine. After the lower court temporarily blocked the measurement – after an order was withdrawn – the deadline was pushed to 1 October.
There are about 1 million students in public schools in the city.
Sotomayor declined the urgent request without providing any explanation or mentioning the matter to the full nine-member court. In August, Judge Amy Connie Barrett reflected on her decision to reject a proposal by 12 Indiana University students to block the school’s vaccine mandate.
Sotomayor handled the case for the Supreme Court because he was a judge to deal with urgent requests that arose in the case of states in a region, including New York.
De Blasio said in a television interview on Friday that 90% of the city’s education department employees have already been vaccinated with at least one dose, including 93% of teachers and 98% of school principals.
Teachers in New York filed a proposed class action lawsuit in Brooklyn federal court last month, claiming that the vaccination order under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution violated their due process and equal protection rights.
Teachers said the order interfered with their freedom of choice and discriminated against them because other municipal workers could pass the weekly Covid-1 tests.
One of the plaintiffs, Rachel Maniscalco, who teaches in the borough of Staten Island, expressed concern about the safety of the Covid-1 vaccine, while others claimed that they should be excused because they have antibodies to their previous Covid-1 infection.
A federal judge and the Manhattan-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the teachers’ request to appeal to the Supreme Court to overturn the order.
Defending the mandate in the lower court, the city noted that the court has long held that the vaccine order does not violate constitutional rights.
“Clearly, plaintiffs do not have the right to educate children without being vaccinated against a dangerous infectious disease,” city prosecutors said.
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