The U.S. Supreme Court rejected to hear an appeal relating to COVID-19 vaccine requirements in the workplace.
The Supreme Court orders list showed that it was denying to hear any further arguments in the case of Katie Sczesny, et al. v. Murphy, Gov. of New Jersey, et al., which focused on four New Jersey nurses who filed a lawsuit against New Jersey’s COVID-19 vaccine requirements in the workplace, citing religious freedom and health concerns.
The Supreme Court did not provide any further explanation for its refusal to hear the case, but the decision allows a ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit to stand. The lower court ruled that the vaccine mandate challenged by the nurses did not violate their Constitutional freedoms and allowed an executive order from New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy to stay in place.
In April of last year, the four nurses, Katie Sczesny, Jamie Rumfield, Debra Hagen, and Mariette Vitti, filed a lawsuit against the state of New Jersey, arguing that executive orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine booster requirements were unconstitutional.
“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. We need our highest Court to provide guidance on this important question of liberty before another pandemic and another emergency vaccine,” says Dana Wefer, a lawyer for the four nurses who filed the lawsuit.
In one portion of their complaint, the nurses mention Murphy’s Executive Order 283, which required healthcare workers to receive COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters.
“EO 283 violates the liberty and privacy rights protected by the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, including the right to refuse medical procedures and the right to not be medically surveilled by government actors,” the nurses wrote.
They also argued that the vaccine mandates violated their religious freedoms, and one portion of the complaint explains that Sczesny was pregnant and did not want to receive a booster while pregnant. The complaint alleges that Sczesny was informed her pregnancy “was not a legitimate reason to wait to receive her booster” by her employer.
The challenge was later dismissed by the lower court of appeals, but the four nurses re-challenged, asking the Supreme Court to hear their arguments.