New York public school workers ask court to block vaccination warrant
By Amy Howe
Sep 30, 2021
at 5.44 p.m.
Telling judges that “the education of thousands of children in the nation’s largest public school system” is at stake, four New York City public school workers appeared in the Supreme Court on Thursday, asking justices to act quickly to put the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate on hold while they plead their challenge to the mandate. The request came on the very afternoon when Judge Samuel Alito fended off criticism of the court’s handling of the so-called “shadow case” – the collection of orders and summary decisions that failed. been informed and debated on the merits – in a widely distributed press release. speech at the Faculty of Law of the University of Notre Dame.
The vaccination mandate, issued in an August 23 executive order, requires employees of New York City public schools to prove that they have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The city plans to apply the warrant starting at 5 p.m. on Friday, October 1. The challengers complain that the warrant was intended to discriminate against public school employees because it allows other city employees, including some who work with children, to stay in their jobs unvaccinated while they are undergoing harsh treatment. weekly tests. Public school employees who are not vaccinated will, however, be placed on unpaid leave. The challengers argue that they have the right to practice their profession and that there is “no rational, non-discriminatory basis for treating them” “differently from other municipal workers.”
A federal district court denied the challengers’ request to temporarily block execution of the warrant, and the United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit refused to suspend the warrant while the challengers appeal. This led the challengers to appear before the Supreme Court, where they urged the judges to intervene urgently and grant an injunction “after nearly two years of closure, to prevent the country’s largest public school system from further disrupting the education of hundreds of thousands of students who desperately need in-person teachers. And they implored the court to act quickly, telling judges the court “will lose the opportunity to provide meaningful relief” once the warrant goes into effect if it does not immediately issue an injunction.
The city’s school system has over 150,000 teachers and staff. About 97% of its principals, 95% of teachers and 87% of non-teaching staff received at least one injection, The New York Times reported this week.
The employees’ request is first directed to Judge Sonia Sotomayor, who handles emergency requests from New York. Sotomayor can act alone on the request or refer it to the full court.
The case is not the first time that a challenge to a vaccine warrant has been brought to court on his shadow file. Last month, Judge Amy Coney Barrett rejected an emergency request from Indiana University students seeking to block the university’s vaccine needs.
This article was originally published by Howe on the Court.