On Tuesday, the Supreme Court of the United States chose not to hear a challenge to Maine’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers on the basis of religious freedom.
As the Daily Caller reports, the mandate had first been implemented in August by Governor Janet Mills (D-Maine), and soon faced legal challenges by healthcare workers who wished to claim religious exemptions. Maine’s mandate does not even allow for religious exemptions, but still allows for medical exemptions, which led to the lawsuit accusing Maine of specifically discriminating against those with certain religious beliefs.
The coalition of healthcare workers appealed to the Supreme Court after a lower court had previously ruled in favor of the mandate. Ultimately, six of the high court’s nine justices declined to hear the case. The Supreme Court has previously declined to hear multiple challenges to such mandates for healthcare workers in other states, including New York, often allowing states to have more control over their COVID-19 policies when it targets specific sectors such as healthcare.
The Supreme Court has not waded into the vaccine battle since January, in its monumental ruling against the Biden Administration’s nationwide vaccine mandate for private businesses with 100 or more employees. By a margin of 6-3, the court ruled that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) did not have the authority to implement such a wide-reaching mandate without the prior approval of Congress. At the same time, the court narrowly ruled by a 5-4 vote that the mandate could remain in place for healthcare facilities that have received government funding.