U.S. Supreme Court Takes On New York City Vaccine Mandate Case


OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

The nation’s highest court has agreed to hear a pivotal case involving whether state and local governments have the constitutional authority to order citizens to take a vaccine.

The case involves a lawsuit filed against New York City by NYPD detective Anthony Marciano regarding the Big Apple’s COVID vaccine mandate for public sector workers.

In August, Justice Sonia Sotomayor turned down a request by Marciano to further examine his legal challenge. But his attorney resubmitted the very same request to Justice Clarence Thomas, and, according to the SCOTUS press office on Tuesday, the court will be hearing the case during deliberations scheduled for Oct. 7.

“I reapplied to Justice Thomas, who is a strict Constitutionalist,” attorney Patricia Finn of the group Make Americans Free Again said in an interview, according to Politico. “I believed his previous opinions were in line with what I was arguing.”

The outlet added:


Marciano sued the city last year challenging a policy requiring municipal workers be inoculated against Covid-19. He did not qualify for religious or medical exemptions, but instead argued he’d acquired immunity through his front-line service and should be free to make his own decision about getting the jab.

His case began in state court and was quickly kicked up to the federal level. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals denied his request for a stay of the vaccine mandate while his case plays out, so he asked the Supreme Court to grant him that injunction or strike down the city’s policy altogether.

Mayor Eric Adams on Tuesday lifted the mandate for private sector workers and businesses as well as public school children engaged in after-school activities. But so far, he has refused to life the mandate for city workers.

Finn said that the Supreme Court may grant the injunction or simply decide the case on its own merits.

“It is a legal question, and facts are not in dispute,” she told Politico. “I think the court has been waiting for a case like mine. I think they are waiting for somebody to approach the issue in a very clean and straightforward way.”

The attorney added that it is a simple case: State and federal statutes bar vaccine mandates without first getting informed consent from the individual. Since Marciano did not provide his consent, according to his lawsuit, he is being denied his due process rights.

Previous challenges to the mandate, however, have failed.

“The Supreme Court has rejected numerous attempts to have it take up lawsuits on the vaccine mandate and a number of other courts have upheld the mandate, recognizing that it saves lives and is a condition of employment,” Adams spokesperson Fabien Levy said in a statement.


A union umbrella organization on Monday sent a letter to First Deputy Mayor Lorraine Grillo and Office of Labor Relations Commissioner Renee Campion blasting Adams’ decision to leave the mandate intact for public sector workers.

“This city’s government has treated its dedicated public employees — people who prior to the availability of vaccines still got up in the morning to protect our streets, put out fires, pick up garbage, teach our children, and deliver vital social services, at risk to their own health — as disposable,” Harry Nespoli, a co-chair of the Municipal Labor Committee, which also consists of the city’s biggest public-sector unions, noted in the letter.

Last week, U.S. District Judge Terry A. Doughty in Louisiana struck down the Biden administration’s mask and COVID-19 vaccine mandates for staffers of federally funded Head Start programs, The Hill reported, adding:

In his ruling, Doughty found that the plaintiffs had satisfied the requirements to warrant a permanent injunction. He ruled that the plaintiffs — a group of Head Start teachers from across the country along with several state governments — faced a “substantial threat of irreparable injury” if the mandate wasn’t taken down.

“Plaintiff States will incur the increased cost of training and of enforcing the Head Start Mandate, will be unable to enforce their laws, and will have their police power encroached. The Court finds that this would be an irreparable injury,” Doughty wrote in his ruling, according to The Hill.

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