WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday that it will not consider a COVID-19 vaccine mandate case out of New Jersey in another disappointment for conservatives despite the court’s Republican-appointed majority.
A Monday order list reveals that the nation’s highest court denied a petition to hear the case of a group of nurses at Hunterdon Medical Center who had challenged a 2022 executive order from Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy mandating COVID vaccinations for healthcare workers.
The Christian Post reported that nurses Katie Sczesny, Jamie Rumfield, Debra Hagen, and Mariette Vitti sued the state over the order in April 2022, arguing that it violated their rights to medical freedom, personal privacy, and religious liberty.
A federal court ruled against the nurses last year, and a three-judge panel of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals later dismissed the case as moot on the grounds that Murphy rescinded the order in June.
The Supreme Court’s order list does not offer a reason for its decision or say how the justices voted. But it only takes four votes to hear a case, meaning that only three justices at most could have called for taking the case.
While New Jersey’s nurses are not currently subjected to COVID vaccine mandates, the Supreme Court’s rejection of the matter leaves the door open for state governments to revive such mandates in the future.
The Court’s current “conservative majority” has long been a mixed bag. While it has delivered major victories on abortion, gun rights, environmental regulation, and affirmative action, it has also disappointed conservatives on other issues, especially vaccine mandates.
Two of former President Donald Trump’s additions, Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, voted against taking up reviews of state-level vaccine mandates in Indiana, Maine, and New York, and Kavanaugh voted to uphold a federal vaccine mandate for healthcare workers and against a group of Navy SEALs’ bid for a religious exemption.
“We are disappointed the Supreme Court did not take up this issue now but hope that it will take up this question soon, whether in this case after final judgment or another case,” Dana Wefer, an attorney for the nurses, told Newsweek. “We need our highest Court to provide guidance on this important question of liberty before another pandemic and another emergency vaccine.”