U.S. Supreme Court declines emergency order in San Diego schools vaccine mandate case

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The U.S. Supreme Court declined Friday to grant an emergency order blocking San Diego Unified School District from enforcing its COVID-19 vaccine requirements, citing the district’s decision to delay implementing the policy.

“Because respondents have delayed implementation of the challenged policy, and because they have not settled on the form any policy will now take, emergency relief is not warranted at this time,” the one-page court order reads.

The nation’s highest court left open the chance it would reconsider taking the case, should circumstances change.


The denial arises from a federal suit brought by a Scripps Ranch High School student who wanted the court to prevent the district from enforcing its vaccine requirement because it did not allow religious exemptions for students.

At issue is a COVID vaccine mandate the school board approved in September for staff and students ages 16 and up. Students were supposed to be fully vaccinated to attend school in person or to participate in extracurricular activities starting Jan. 24.

A Feb. 11 letter from the student’s attorney asked the high court to take the case despite what he said was a district statement that it may implement the vaccine requirement “piecemeal.”

“The District promises only that the vaccine requirement will be delayed, at most a short while,” reads the letter from attorney Paul M. Jonna.

A district spokesperson did not immediately return a request for more information Saturday.