Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a mandate on August 16 that all health care workers in the state must submit to COVID-19 vaccination.
Seventeen of these workers filed a lawsuit in federal court to stop the mandate’s enforcement. They alleged that the mandate, which excludes religious exemptions, violates religious freedom protections under the Civil Rights of 1964 and the Supremacy Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
“These plaintiffs are not – I repeat – not anti-vaxxers, as the fake news media calls them,” Special Counsel Christopher Ferrara said. “They are in fact in favor of voluntary vaccination with informed consent, but they oppose jack-booted coercion by the state to take a vaccine their religion forbids them to take. This is America, not Red China.”
The Thomas More Society announced earlier on Tuesday that the court has granted the temporary restraining order. The court ruled (PDF – five pages) that the New York State Department of Health is barred from enforcing any vaccine requirements that deny religious exemptions. The court added that since the mandate goes into effect on September 27, the restraining order doesn’t go into effect until that date. The state has until September 22 to respond.
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