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Maine Vaccine Mandate Rejected by the US Supreme Court

Justice Stephen Breyer of the United States Supreme Court dismissed a religious objection to a requirement that healthcare workers in Maine be vaccinated against COVID-19 on Tuesday, the latest such claim to be rejected by the nation’s highest court. However, Breyer stated in a brief ruling that the challengers – unidentified plaintiffs who claimed to be healthcare professionals who objected to the vaccine on religious grounds – might file a new request for a mandate exemption when the 1st U.S.

Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on their case. Unfortunately, the Boston-based appeals court ruled against the healthcare workers shortly after Breyer’s order, sending the case back to the Supreme Court. Maine’s rule called for all healthcare workers to be entirely vaccinated by the beginning of October, but the state indicated it wouldn’t start enforcing it until October 29. Maine voters decisively rejected a referendum challenging the law last year, which abolished religious exemptions from mandatory immunizations.

As he is the justice assigned to deal with emergency requests coming from cases in states in a region including Maine, Breyer handled the matter for the Supreme Court. A federal judge denied the demand for an exemption. Breyer’s decision represents the Supreme Court third rejection of a challenge to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate. This month, Justice Sonia Sotomayor refused to overturn New York City’s vaccination requirement for public school teachers and employees. In August, Indiana University students were unsuccessful in their attempt to have the school’s vaccination mandate overturned by Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

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