|Posted by JJ The Psychotherapist on January 15, 2023 at 12:00 AM|
NY Supreme Court Justice Strikes Down State's COVID Vaccine Mandate for Health Workers
On Friday, New York Supreme Court Justice Gerald Neri blocked the state’s mandate for health workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The ruling stated that Governor Kathy Hochul (D) and the state’s health department overstepped their authority by bypassing the legislature and mandating vaccines that were not authorized by state public health law.
The judge found that the Respondents, Governor Kathy Hochul and the state’s health department, were specifically prohibited from implementing and mandatory immunization program for adults and children outside of what has been authorized by the legislature. He wrote that the Mandate was beyond the scope of Respondents’ authority and is therefore null, void, and of no effect, and the Respondents, their agents, officers, and employees are prohibited from implementing or enforcing the Mandate.
In considering the standards for separation of powers, the judge found that the specific type of COVID-19 vaccine was not authorized in state law to be required. He wrote that COVID-19 or coronaviruses are generally not covered by any of the aforementioned sections. Respondents are clearly prohibited from mandating any vaccination outside of those specifically authorized by the legislature.
The judge also found that the mandate was both arbitrary and capricious, citing evidence submitted. He wrote that the Mandate is entitled “Prevention of COVID-19 transmission by covered entities”. In true Orwellian fashion, the Respondents acknowledge then-current COVID-19 shots do not prevent transmission. He also noted that the definition of “fully vaccinated” as determined by the health department presented an absurdity, saying, “A term which is defined at the whim of an entity, subject to change without a moment’s notice contains all the hallmarks of ‘absurdity’ and is no definition at all.”
The lawsuit was funded by Children’s Health Defense, on behalf of “Children’s Health Defense (CHD), on behalf of Medical Professionals for Informed Consent and several individual healthcare workers,” according to a statement. The Plaintiffs’ lead attorney, Sujata Gibson, celebrated the ruling, writing that this is a huge win for New York healthcare workers, who have been deprived of their livelihoods for more than a year. This is also a huge win for all New Yorkers, who are facing dangerous and unprecedented healthcare worker shortages throughout New York State.
The New York state Health Department said that it strongly disagrees with Neri’s decision, according to a statement issued Saturday, and is currently exploring its options. The Health Department argued that the requirement that healthcare workers be vaccinated against COVID-19 protects vulnerable New Yorkers and the people who care for them, and the requirement is a critical public health tool. It is unclear how this ruling will impact legal precedent, as the United States Supreme Court declined to block New York’s mandate for health workers in December 2021, in a case that cited the lack of religious exemption.