Headline RoundupDecember 14th, 2021

Supreme Court Denies Health Care Workers' Religious Challenge to NY Vaccine Mandate

Summary from the AllSides News Team

The Supreme Court on Monday denied two requests from New York health care workers who said the state's vaccine mandate for their industry violates their constitutional right to freely exercise their religion.

The court's unsigned order offered no explanation of the ruling. Justice Neil Gorsuch, joined by Justice Samuel Alito, dissented and criticized the court for purportedly denying religious freedom. Justice Clarence Thomas said he would have granted the application but did not join the dissent. New York requires health care workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they qualify for a medical exemption. No religious exemptions are offered. The same three justices who objected to Monday's ruling also dissented in the court's rejection of a challenge from Maine health care workers in October. Religious challenges to vaccine mandates might object to the requirement in general or specifically the use of fetal-cell lines derived from aborted fetuses to develop and test vaccines. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops says it's morally acceptable to receive the vaccines.

Outlets across the spectrum reported on the news. Many reports from right-rated outlets highlighted the religious freedom angle in their headlines. Some voices from right-rated sources focused on how conservative Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, who were nominated by former President Donald Trump, joined their liberal colleagues in supporting the decision and accused them of working against religious liberty. Others highlighted New York Gov. Kathy Hochul's criticism of people seeking religious exemptions

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