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The United States Supreme Court has not issued any ruling related to the COVID-19 vaccines or universal vaccinations, and there is currently no case on its docket involving challenges to vaccine mandates.
As new federal vaccine requirements go into effect, some social media posts are recirculating the false claim that the U.S. Supreme Court found the COVID-19 vaccines unsafe and "canceled" universal vaccinations.
"Breaking news," a Sept. 27 Instagram post reads, "US Supreme Court has canceled universal vaccination in the United States."
The claim dates back to a May 23, 2021, article published on a website called "Inspirer Radio."
It was wrong then, and it’s still wrong now.
The Supreme Court has not issued any ruling related to the COVID-19 vaccines or universal vaccinations, and there is currently no case on its docket involving challenges to vaccine mandates. There is also no "universal vaccination" rule, although the federal government and many employers and institutions are tightening vaccination requirements.
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
The Instagram post that resurfaced the claim shows a video of someone scrolling through a lengthy chain message and reading it aloud. The message appears to be identical to the text of the Inspirer Radio article.
It asserts that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a group led by lawyer Robert Kennedy Jr., who is a nephew of former President John F. Kennedy and an anti-vaccine advocate, in a lawsuit against Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, federal infectious-disease chief Dr. Anthony Fauci and "Big Pharma," because they failed "to prove that all of their vaccines have been safe for the health of citizens" for the past "32 years."
The message makes several additional false claims about the mRNA vaccines, including that they have the ability to alter DNA. (They don’t.)
The post also erroneously identifies Kennedy as a U.S. senator and attributes a criticism of the COVID-19 vaccines to him.
Kennedy told The Associated Press that the claim is false and the quote is fabricated. He added that while he’s been involved in more than 30 vaccine safety lawsuits, the cases are at different stages of the judicial process and none have appeared before the Supreme Court.
A post on Instagram claims that the Supreme Court "canceled" universal vaccinations.
No such lawsuit has been heard by the Supreme Court.
We rate it False.
Instagram post, Sept. 27, 2021
PolitiFact, Will Joe Biden’s vaccination requirements hold up in court?, Sept. 15, 2021
Supreme Court docket, Accessed Sept. 27, 2021
Inspirer Radio, *Supreme Court has canceled universal vaccination* - Senator Robert F. Kennedy Jr, May 23, 2021
Inspirer Radio, The US Supreme Court did not rule against mandatory vaccination By Juliette Mansour, May 26, 2021
AFP Fact Check, The US Supreme Court did not rule against mandatory vaccination, April 23, 2021
PolitiFact, No, COVID-19 vaccines won’t alter your DNA and control you, Nov. 18, 2020
Associated Press, Supreme Court hasn’t ruled on COVID-19 vaccines or ‘universal vaccination’, Sept. 20, 2021
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