Health care workers in Maine were hit with a crushing blow on Tuesday when the Supreme Court refused to block the mandate that they be vaccinated against COVID-19. This ruling potentially sent a green light to states all over the nation that they can issue vaccine mandates for health care employees as well.
Justice Stephen Breyer, who handles emergency requests from Maine, said he issued the denial “without prejudice,” which means that the applicants can file another request if circumstances change.
This lawsuit was filed by the Christian group Liberty Counsel, which claims to represent some 2,000 health care workers who are against the mandate for religious reasons. While Maine recognizes medical exemptions to the vaccine, it does not recognize religious exemptions, according to The Hill.
“Governor Mills cannot override federal law and ignore the legal right of all Maine health care workers to request reasonable accommodation for their sincerely held religious beliefs, and forcing shots without exemptions is unlawful,” Liberty Counsel founder and chairman Mat Staver said in a statement last week.
“Forcing COVID shots without exemptions is unlawful,” he later added, according to The Washington Times. “The governor cannot override federal law and force health care workers to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs by forcing them to inject an experimental substance.”
Democratic Maine Gov. Janet Mills had ruled that all health care workers in her state must be fully vaccinated by October 29, meaning that the deadline to get the first shot passed last week. Patty Wight, a reporter with Maine Public Radio, told NPR yesterday that ambulance crews all over the state are in a crisis, saying that paramedics and EMTs are quitting over the mandate.
The Daily Caller reported that President Joe Biden issued a federal vaccine mandate last month, forcing all companies with more than 100 employees to ensure their workers are either vaccinated or taking a weekly COVID-19 test. This mandate affected the lives of around 100 million Americans.
“We’re going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated co-workers,” Biden said as he introduced the mandate. “We’ll reduce the spread of COVID-19 by increasing the share of the workforce that’s vaccinated in business all across America.”
Americans everywhere should be free to make their own decisions about whether or not to get vaccinated without having to worry about losing their jobs based on what they decide. It’s unfortunate that despite having a conservative majority, the Supreme Court has come to this ruling.
This piece was written by James Samson on October 20, 2021. It originally appeared in RedVoiceMedia.com and is used by permission.
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