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Sotomayor rejects challenge to N.Y. COVID vaccine mandate

Sonia Sotomayor

(Reuters) — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Thursday rejected a bid to prevent New York City from enforcing its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for municipal workers against a group teachers, firefighters and others who challenged the policy.

The justice denied an emergency request, received by the court on Nov. 4, to block the policy by individual municipal workers, as well as a group called New Yorkers For Religious Liberty, while their appeal of lower court decisions siding with the city proceeds.

The plaintiffs — firefighters, building inspectors, police officers, emergency medical technicians, teachers, sanitation workers and others — are represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom conservative religious liberty group.

Sotomayor, who is the justice designated by the court to act on emergency matters arising from New York and certain other states, has repeatedly rebuffed challenges to New York City’s vaccine mandate including by a police detective in August and public school teachers and assistants last year.

The court as a whole in June refused to take up a religious challenge to New York state’s vaccine mandate for health care workers.