Source: Business Insider
"Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett side with liberal justices, decline to block Maine's vaccine mandate for health workers with religious objections"
In a ruling Friday, the Supreme Court declined to block Maine from requiring vaccine mandates for healthcare workers who object on religious grounds.
Maine requires all healthcare workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and does not grant religious exemptions.
A group of healthcare workers sought an emergency order from the Supreme Court that would block the requirement for those with religious objections.
The court voted 6-3, with conservative Justices John Roberts and Trump-appointees Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett siding with the liberal justices.
I am surprised by this ruling for two reasons. One reason is that you have two Trump-appointed justices going against the Republican position to not mandate vaccines. The second reason this surprises me or makes me take notice is that I believe this case will set a huge precedent for other states to enact vaccine mandates. States that want to enact mandates won't be so afraid of a conservative majority Supreme Court given this decision. The article does not mention the reasons behind the decision for the majority ruling but it does mention some of the reasons behind the 2 justices who were against vaccine mandates.
The majority did not give a reason for the decision, but conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch, joined by Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, issued a long dissent.
SourceLaws that single out sincerely held religious beliefs or conduct based on them for sanction are “doubtless . . . unconstitutional.” Employment Div., Dept. of Human Resources of Ore. v. Smith, 494 U. S. 872, 877 (1990).
Maine does not dispute that its rule burdens the exercise of sincerely held religious beliefs. The applicants explain that receiving the COVID–19 vaccines violates their faith because of what they view as an impermissible connection between the vaccines and the cell lines of aborted fetuses. More specifically, they allege that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine required the use of abortion-related materials in its production, and that Moderna and Pfizer relied on aborted fetal cell lines to develop their vaccines. Complaint ¶¶61– 68. This much, the applicants say, violates foundational principles of their religious faith. For purposes of these proceedings, Maine has contested none of this.
What do you guys think about this?
Do you think other states will see this ruling as a green light to issue vaccine mandates?