SCOTUS declines to block Maine’s vaccine mandate for health care personnel

The Biden administration and local governments across the United States have attempted to implement COVID-19 vaccine mandates on American citizens, but such efforts have drawn fierce opposition along the way.

In a ruling this week, the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in on one such case by upholding a vaccine requirement for health care workers in Maine.

A series of SCOTUS rulings

According to Politico, this was the third time the nation’s highest court declined to block a vaccine mandate, though it was the first case involving a statewide requirement.

Like many Americans from all walks of life, many Maine health care workers were upset over the prospect of losing their jobs if they refused a vaccine.

Justice Stephen Breyer, who oversees the First Circuit Court of Appeals, dismissed their challenge in a decision this week.

His ruling comes after Justices Amy Coney Barrett and Sonia Sotomayor upheld vaccine mandates by Indiana University and the New York City school system, respectively.

For his part, Breyer gave the plaintiffs in the case another opportunity to challenge the mandate before it is set to go into effect later this month. Nevertheless, his decision appears to bolster the Biden administration’s position as well as state governments and private companies that have similarly pushed for widespread vaccine requirements.

The debate rages on

Unvaccinated Americans are increasingly facing not only the loss of their jobs but also access to restaurants and other public places. Biden has repeatedly cited vaccine skeptics as the root cause of the latest surge in COVID-19 and described mass firings as a sign of progress.

Although many Americans have described the trend as demoralizing, a number of critics have pushed back against the encroaching mandates.

In Seattle, Washington, for example, first responders facing termination for refusing the vaccine were seen turning in their boots in protest of the mandate. Days earlier, Southwest Airlines pilots reportedly refused to show up for work because of similar requirements.

It is worth noting that the threat of mass firings comes as the nation is suffering from a crippling labor shortage and supply chain interruptions that have led to empty store shelves and higher consumer prices.

Liberty Counsel, which represents about 2,000 health care workers in Maine, affirmed that attorneys would continue fighting for the cause, explaining: “We are pleased that the Supreme Court is ready to consider this case if we do not get relief at the First Circuit Court of Appeals or if the lower court does not rule by October 29.”

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