A federal judge has firmly denied a request for an injunction by a group of Steamship Authority employees seeking to overturn the boat line’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate for its workers.

In an 18-page ruling issued Thursday, the Hon. Richard G. Stearns, a justice of the U.S. first district court, rejected all arguments by the group of 11 employees who claimed they were being discriminated against over their religious objections to the vaccine, violating their rights under the Fourteenth amendment.

“The public interest in safely accessing ferry service to Nantucket Island and Martha’s Vineyard without the fear of contracting Covid-19 from the Authority’s unvaccinated employees is profound,” the judge wrote in part.

The SSA announced in January that it would require all of its approximately 700 employees to show they have had at least one dose of the vaccine. Employees were given until Feb. 16 to show they were fully vaccinated or face termination.

Led by Capt. Albert Brox, most of the 11 plaintiffs had requested an exemption from the vaccination policy on religious grounds, which was denied by boat line managers, court records show.

The case was first filed in Barnstable superior court last month and quickly moved to federal court.

The SSA uses the Centers for Disease Control definition of fully vaccinated.

Seeking a temporary restraining order, the plaintiffs claimed they will suffer irreparable injury and an estimated $181,500 in lost wages if the mandate is enforced.

But in blunt language, Judge Stearns rejected the claims on every level.

“Undergirding much of the plaintiffs’ quest for injunctive relief is the scientifically unsupportable theory that the Covid-19 vaccines are, at best, wholly ineffective or, at worst, a hoax. Indeed, plaintiffs refuse to even recognize the vaccines as vaccines,” the judge wrote.

“At the extreme, plaintiffs advance the fabulous proposition that vaccinated persons are at higher risk of contracting Covid-19 than those who are not . . . It is a matter of utmost urgency that these dangerous and fallacious assertions be laid to rest.”

The ruling continued:

“The CDC has determined — and no responsible world health organization or scientific body disagrees — that the Covid-19 vaccines are safe and effective against the virus and its variants . . . protecting against ‘severe illness, hospitalization, and death.’ . . . The danger to the public is not the vaccine but persons who, like the plaintiffs, insist on behaviors that endanger all those with whom they have contact.”

Judge Stearns concluded:

“Although perhaps wrongly attributed to the great Justice Holmes, there is Holmesian wisdom in the adage that ‘your liberty to swing your fist ends where my nose begins.’”