NYC teachers lose battle to stop COVID vaccine mandate at hands of Justice Sotomayor

A group of New York City teachers made a valiant stand against Mayor Bill de Blasio’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, winning at least a temporary injunction against it until an appeals court panel tossed the injunction.

According to CBS News, in an effort to secure assistance in the U.S. Supreme Court, hopefully in their favor, the teachers were immediately dismissed when liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor not only refused their emergency petition, but failed to give the group the time of day to explain why. 

The petition was filed by the teachers and their legal counsel last Thursday, with the hopes of immediate SCOTUS intervention in the form of an emergency appeal, as the mandate was set to begin on Friday. Ultimately, they were denied any recourse.

Lawyers for the city, including Georgia Pestana, were beyond thrilled with Sotomayor’s denial.

“We are gratified by Justice Sotomayor’s decision. She made the right call on the law and in the best interest of students and educators,” Pestana said.

Legal counsel for the group of teachers, however, were disappointed in Sotomayor’s immediate dismissal of the teachers’ plea for at least some consideration of help.

“We are disappointed, but the fight for our clients’ due process and those similarly situated will go on,” said attorney Vinoo Varghese.

According to the Associated Press, as of Monday, with the COVID-19 vaccine mandate in full effect, de Blasio’s office reported that out of the 148,000 school staff and teachers in the NYC system, 95% had received at least their first COVID-19 vaccination. That figure also included 96% of teachers and 99% of principals.

“Our parents need to know their kids will be safe,” Mayor de Blasio said. “They entrust us with their children. That’s what this mandate is all about. Every adult in our schools is now vaccinated, and that’s going to be the rule going forward.”