Why the Supreme Court Hasn’t Ruled (For Now) on Vaccine Mandates

Plaintiffs have filed lawsuits arguing that mandates without religious exemptions violate their free exercise of religion. Given the thorny legal questions involved, and the possibility of inflaming the polarized situation further, the Supreme Court will likely allow the issue to percolate in the lower courts and resist the invitation to rule on whether the First Amendment requires religious exemptions to COVID-19 vaccines.
The US Supreme Court seems likely to rule in a way school-choice advocates will welcome. The Court will likely overrule the Montana court and hold a ban on scholarships for students at religiously affiliated schools unconstitutional—an important ruling, to be sure. But a sweeping opinion seems unlikely. Rather, Espinoza is shaping up to be one of those closely divided, narrow decisions that have become familiar in the Court’s Religion Clause jurisprudence.