Lawyers representing a group of education employees have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to grant an emergency injunction against a vaccination requirement for New York City public school teachers.
An application submitted Thursday claims the city’s executive order requiring Department of Education employees get vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to retain employment “places an unconstitutional burden on public-school teachers.”
The request comes after lower courts denied previous injunctions.
“[The Supreme Court] has continually recognized the importance of enjoining enforcement of drastic COVID-19 mandates, pending later review,” the application read, asking the court to do the same — in the opinion of the applicants — in this case.
The DOE Thursday pushed back.
“Plaintiffs have no valid claims and have stated no basis for the Court’s intervention,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “Courts have spoken. The Health Department has the authority to implement a mandate that is firmly grounded in science and the expertise of public health officials from across the nation.”
A vaccine mandate for New York City public school staff meant to begin Monday — with enforcement set for Tuesday — was temporarily blocked by a judge, with the fate of school buildings remaining uncertain in the long term.
By Tuesday, the nation’s largest school district was allowed to immediately impose a vaccine mandate on its teachers and other workers, after all, a federal appeals panel decided Monday, leading lawyers for teachers to say they’d ask the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene.
The de Blasio administration responded to the ruling by announcing teachers and school staff would have until Friday to get vaccinated. The city will implement the vaccine requirement on Monday, Oct. 4, according to the Department of Education and Mayor Bill de Blasio.