Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor allows NYC schools’ COVID vaccine mandate to stay in place

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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