Dec 13, 2021

Americans United for Separation of Church and State President and CEO Rachel Laser issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s orders today in Dr. A v. Hochul and We The Patriots USA v. Hochul, cases involving requests for harmful religious exemptions from a New York requirement that health care workers be vaccinated against COVID-19:

“The Supreme Court’s orders – the second and third in recent months rejecting requests to block a state’s vaccination requirements – honor our country’s constitutional principle of church-state separation, which protects religious freedom for everyone and ensures we are all treated equally under the law. Religious freedom is not a right to risk other people’s lives during a global pandemic that has already killed nearly 800,000 people in the U.S. These orders are in line with more than a century of court decisions that make clear the Constitution does not mandate religious exemptions from vaccination requirements.”

Americans United, joined by religious and civil rights organizations, filed several amicus briefs in the We the Patriots case, including a brief filed Nov. 9 with the Supreme Court.

Americans United is a religious freedom advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, AU educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom. Learn more at