A federal judge has extended a ban on Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s order that mandated all health care workers in the state to be vaccinated against coronavirus or they could be fired.
U.S. District Judge David Hurd — an appointee of former President Bill Clinton — pushed back the order two weeks, which means until Oct. 12, health care and long-term care employees in the state seeking a religious exemption can remain unvaccinated without losing their jobs.
“If you work in the health care industry — from a doctor to a vendor — and claim a religious exemption to the COVID-19 vaccines, you do not have to get a shot until at least Oct. 12,” local news outlet WHEC reported.
“The federal judge in Utica who issued a temporary restraining order on New York State’s vaccine mandate for health care industry workers extended the order to Oct. 12. The order does not apply to all health care industry workers, only those who claim a religious exemption,” the report added.
“Breaking: federal judge extends the temporary ban on the NYS vaccine mandate for health care industry workers claiming a religious exemption until October 12th. Then the order could turn into a preliminary injunction,” reporter Berkeley Brean tweeted with a video of himself breaking down the ruling.
Last week, Hurd sided with 17 doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers who sued to block the state’s coronavirus vaccine mandate, claiming it’s unconstitutional.
In his filing granting a temporary restraining order, Hurd said the New York State Department of Health cannot enforce the mandate against employees who oppose the vaccine for religious reasons.
Hurd — an appointee of former president Bill Clinton — also said the Department of Health cannot punish or retaliate against the plaintiffs for refusing the vaccine on religious grounds.
The 17 healthcare workers are Christians who say the vaccines used “aborted fetus cell lines” in their testing and development, according to a Sept. 13 lawsuit they filed against Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul.
Christopher Ferrara, the special counsel for the Thomas More Society, is the lead attorney for the plaintiffs.
He said New York’s compulsory Covid vaccinations as a requirement for continued employment is a “brazen power grab by people who think they can get away with anything.”
In a statement Tuesday, Ferrara said statewide vaccine mandates are unconstitutional and oppressive.
“Never in the history of New York State, never in the history of the world, has a government sought to forcibly impose mass vaccination on an entire class of people under threat of immediate personal and professional destruction,” he said.
“This is just another example of how Covid regimes are completely out of control. The federal judiciary has a duty under the Constitution to put a straight jacket on this institutional insanity,” Ferrara said.
He said his clients do not oppose vaccines, but merely object to the government substituting its own judgment for private medical decisions that individuals should make.
“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,” Ferrara said. “This is America, not Red China.”
h/t: Conservative Brief