Oct 1, 2021 - Health

Sotomayor allows NYC schools' vaccine mandate to stay in place

Photo of Sonia Sotomayor sitting on a stage

Photo: Paul Marotta via Getty Images

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Friday blocked a challenge to New York City's vaccine requirement for public school teachers and employees, allowing the mandate to remain in place.

Why it matters: Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in August that all 148,000 staff members of the largest U.S. school district would need to submit proof of at least one dose of a COVID vaccine or risk unpaid leave until September 2022.

  • The deadline was pushed to 5 p.m. EDT on Oct. 1 after a lower court temporarily blocked the order.
  • With the order now lifted, a group of four teachers and teaching assistants petitioned the Supreme Court to bar enforcement of the mandate while litigation is ongoing in lower courts.
  • Sotomayor rejected the emergency request without providing an explanation. She also did not refer the case to the full nine-member court for review.
  • Justice Amy Coney Barrett made a similar decision in August when she rejected a request to block Indiana University's vaccine mandate.
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