Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson on Thursday was officially sworn in as the newest member of the Supreme Court, marking "a profound step forward for our nation," according to President Joe Biden, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia and New York.
- District of Columbia: Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson on Thursday was officially sworn in as the newest member of the Supreme Court. Last February, President Joe Biden nominated Jackson to replace Justice Stephen Breyer, who is now retired, and in April, she was confirmed by the Senate on a 53-47 vote. Jackson was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts, who administered the constitutional oath, and Breyer. "I am truly grateful to be part of the promise of our great nation. I extend my sincerest thanks to all of my new colleagues for their warm and gracious welcome," Jackson said in a statement. Separately, Biden said he was honored to see his nominee officially take her place in the court. "Her historic swearing in today represents a profound step forward for our nation, for all the young, Black girls who now see themselves reflected on our highest court," Biden said. (Olander, Politico, 6/30)
- District of Columbia: The Supreme Court on Thursday declined to hear a case involving a Covid-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers in New York that does not permit religious exemptions—a move that follows the courts previous decision to decline an emergency request to block the requirement in Dec. 2021. In the emergency request, doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals argued that they were being forced to choose between their religious beliefs and their jobs. Justices Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito dissented on both occasions. Currently, three states, including New York, Maine, and Rhode Island, do not accommodate health care workers who refuse the vaccine for religious reasons. Notably, the court also declined an earlier challenge from health care workers in Maine, with the same three justices in dissent. (AP/Modern Healthcare, 6/30)
- New York: New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Thursday announced that the city will start offering no-cost antiviral medications to vulnerable residents who test positive for the coronavirus at mobile testing sites. Under the initiative, residents will be able to visit three different mobile testing units located in areas with large populations of working-class residents. At each testing unit, residents will have access to a clinician who can prescribe Paxlovid at no cost for eligible individuals. Notably, the units are located outside local pharmacies that can fill prescriptions immediately. By the end of July, the city hopes to increase the number of mobile testing sites to 30. "This mobile Test to Treat program will save lives today and prepares us for future waves of this pandemic, keeping more New Yorkers safe and healthy," Adams said. (Chen, Axios, 6/30)