- The Washington Times - Friday, October 1, 2021

Justice Sonia Sotomayor declined to block a vaccine mandate for New York City public school employees on Friday. 

A group of four employees had challenged the requirement, which is set to take effect Friday afternoon.

Under the rule, teachers must show proof of at least one COVID-19 shot. Regular testing instead of being vaccinated is not an option under the mandate, which is part of the challengers’ argument. They say the city should give them an option for coronavirus testing instead of requiring only the vaccine and that the mandate violates their constitutional rights. 

The unvaccinated teachers say they will be forced to go on leave. 

At least 90% of teachers in New York City have had one COVID-19 shot, according to reports. 

The high court’s move keeps the vaccine mandate in place while the case is appealed. A lower court gave a green light to the requirement earlier this week. 

Justice Sotomayor oversees emergency appeals from New York and acted on her own to bat down the request to block the city’s requirement. 

This is the second time the high court has weighed into the vaccine debate. 

Justice Amy Coney Barrett this year declined to block a vaccine requirement for students at Indiana University while their case played out in lower court. 

• Alex Swoyer can be reached at aswoyer@washingtontimes.com.

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