NEW YORK — The U.S. Supreme Court will hear an NYPD detective’s challenge to New York City’s vaccination requirement for city officials.
Last month, Liberal judge Sonia Sotomayor rejected a request from Det. Anthony Marciano to take up his legal challenge – the outcome of which could have important implications for Mayor Eric Adams’ administration. But Marciano resubmitted the exact same request to conservative judge Clarence Thomas, and the Supreme Court news agency confirmed on Tuesday that the matter will be deliberated at a conference on Oct. 7.
Marciano’s lawyer said they decided to try again because… Thomas’s earlier views.
“I have applied again to Judge Thomas, who is a strict constitutionalist,” attorney Patricia Finn of the Make Americans Free Again group said in an interview. “I believed his previous opinions were consistent with what I was claiming.”
Marciano took the city to court last year, challenging a policy of vaccinating municipal employees against Covid-19. He was not eligible for any religious or medical exemptions, instead arguing that he had obtained immunity through his frontline service and should be free to make his own decision about getting the shot.
His case started in state court and was soon taken to the federal level. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals turned down his request to postpone the vaccine mandate while his case plays out, so he asked the Supreme Court to grant him that warrant or scrap the city’s policy altogether.
The news that Marciano got the ear of the Supreme Court came when Adams announced Tuesday that it would end the vaccine mandate for private sector workers and students who participate in after-school activities. However, he did not flinch at the demands of city workers.
Finn said the Supreme Court decision could change that.
“I think the court has been waiting for a case like mine,” she said in an interview. “I think they’re waiting for someone to approach the issue in a very clear and direct way.”
The matter, she said, is simple: State and federal laws prohibit vaccine mandates without the informed consent of the recipient. And because Marciano has not given his consent, the lawsuit alleges, his rights to a fair trial are being violated.
So far, lawsuits against the city’s mandate for city workers have failed, as state and federal courts have confirmed the city’s broad jurisdiction to establish vaccine requirements.
“The Supreme Court has rejected numerous attempts to have it file lawsuits over the vaccine mandate and a number of other courts have upheld the mandate, recognizing that it saves lives and is a condition of employment,” mayor spokesman Fabien Levy said in a statement. .
On Monday — the same day POLITICO first reported the mayor’s intentions to drop the private sector vaccination requirement — an umbrella union group sent a letter to First Deputy Mayor Lorraine Grillo and Labor Relations Commissioner Renee. Campion, in which he expressed his outrage at the edict of the public sector. would remain intact.
“The government of this city has treated its dedicated officials — people who still got up in the mornings before vaccine availability to protect our streets, put out fires, pick up trash, educate our children, and provide essential social services. are at risk to their own health – as a disposable item,” wrote Harry Nespoli, co-chair of the Municipal Labor Committee, which includes the largest trade unions in the public sector.
Greg Floyd, head of Teamsters Local 237, said he will wait to see if City Hall heeds union leaders’ requests to apply the same standards to the public sector as the mayor applies to private companies.
“The first thing we’re going to do is ask to have the same policy for our members who have been fired, and we’ll take it from there,” Floyd said. “And if not, we’ll consider legal action.”
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