U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas provided a dissenting opinion about COVID-19 vaccines.
The case involved 16 New York state health care workers who challenged the state government’s vaccine mandate for people in their line of work.
“They object on religious grounds to all available COVID-19 vaccines because they were developed using cell lines derived from aborted children,” Thomas wrote in his dissent.
The Supreme Court voted 6-3 to not hear an appeal of a lower court’s ruling that upheld the New York vaccine mandate for health care workers. Politico reported that all 16 health care workers who sued lost their jobs, lost hospital admitting privileges, or decided to receive the vaccine.
Justices Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch were in the minority.
Among the workers’ complaints was that the state allowed medical exemptions but not religious exemptions. Thomas favored granting a petition that would allow deliberations on whether such a vaccine mandate can be fair if it doesn’t allow both kinds of exemptions.
“Over the last few years, the Federal Government and the States have enacted a host of emergency measures to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Many were not neutral toward religious exercise or generally applicable,” Thomas wrote.
He wrote that the issue should be debated “now in the ordinary course, before the next crisis forces us again to decide complex legal issues in an emergency posture.”
SupremeCourt.gov: “Brnovich, Mark v. Isaacson, Paul, et al.,” June 30, 2022.
National Library of Medicine: “Helping patients with ethical concerns about COVID-19 vaccines in light of fetal cell lines used in some COVID-19 vaccines”
Politico: “Clarence Thomas suggests Covid vaccines are developed using cells of ‘aborted children'”