Supreme Court Denies Challenge to New Mexico’s COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
December 22, 2021 Updated: December 22, 2021

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a legal challenge to block New Mexico’s vaccine mandate for health care workers, prisons, and nursing homes, as well as other settings.

The nation’s high court didn’t offer a comment (pdf) on why it denied issuing an injunction against the order, the latest time the Supreme Court rejected attempts to block states’ vaccination mandates. Previously, the Supreme Court denied challenges against mandates in New York state and Maine, respectively.

Justice Neil Gorsuch, who previously dissented in a ruling that declined to block a New York state vaccine mandate, denied the application on Tuesday.

New Mexico’s vaccine mandate, which went into effect in August of this year, allows for religious and medical exemptions. The separate legal challenge against New York’s health care worker mandate had argued that the state acted in an unconstitutional manner by not allowing religious exemptions.

Two women, including a former nurse who was fired after she didn’t get the COVID-19 vaccine, argued that the statewide mandate violates their constitutional right to “bodily integrity” as well as their right to “engage in one’s chosen profession.”

“There is no documentation that unvaccinated workers in the affected industries were being infected at any greater rate or severity than the vaccinated workers, that they were responsible for a greater rate of spread, that masking and other physical measures were not working, or that other treatments were not available short injection of gene modification therapies that work to treat COVID and slow its spread,” their lawyers also argued, asking the court for injunctive relief by blocking the mandate.

Further, they argued, it’s unreasonable to “place the workers in such a position, who by all accounts serve as no greater threat for spread of the disease” and “require employers to terminate them from their chosen professions.”

But lawyers for the state of New Mexico argued (pdf) that the two plaintiffs said that they “made no effort to seek an exemption to the vaccination requirements based on those stated beliefs,” and asserted that because they “made no such effort, [the plaintiffs] have no reasonable basis to conclude that none of the exemptions would be available to them.”

The Supreme Court justices are likely going to act in the coming days on two Biden administration vaccine mandates: the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) controversial mandate that requires testing or vaccines for workers at businesses with 100 or more employees, and a separate mandate for health care workers that was issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.