A federal judge on Tuesday partially blocked New York’s vaccine mandate for health care and long-term care workers throughout the state.
Utica Judge David Hurd blocked the state from firing health care workers seeking a religious exemption from the vaccine mandate, which was first issued in August by disgraced then-Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) and later enforced by his replacement, Governor Kathy Hochul (D-NY).
“The Department of Health is barred from taking any action, disciplinary or otherwise, against the licensure, certification, residency, admitting privileges or other professional status or qualification of any of the plaintiffs on account of their seeking or having obtained a religious exemption from mandatory COVID-19 vaccination,” Hurd wrote in his ruling, Spectrum News reported, adding, “At the same time, state health officials cannot act against health care employers who accept religious exemptions as well.”
In a statement sent to The Daily Wire, Thomas More Society Senior Counsel Stephen Crampton blasted the liberal state government for “ignoring the United States Constitution, its Amendments, and the Civil Rights Act.”
“This is very clearly a decision supporting the constitutional rights of these medical workers whose requests for religious exemption to the vaccine mandate were rejected by Governor Hochul and her administration,” Crampton said of Hurd’s ruling. “New York seems to be dead set on ignoring the United States Constitution, its Amendments, and the Civil Rights Act. We are pleased that Judge Hurd has seen fit to put an immediate halt to that gubernatorial overreach.”
Thomas More Society Special Counsel Christopher Ferrara, lead counsel in the case against the state, commented, “With this decision the court rightly recognized that yesterday’s ‘front line heroes’ in dealing with COVID cannot suddenly be treated as disease-carrying villains and kicked to the curb by the command of a state health bureaucracy. Some of these plaintiffs contracted COVID while treating patients, recovered, and were allowed to return to work with the same protective measures that were good enough for the 18 months that they were the heroes in the battle against the virus. There is no ‘science’ to show that these same measures are suddenly inadequate – especially when they are allowed for those with medical exemptions.”
Back in September, Hochul sparked fury when she said during a church service that Christians who are not vaccinated against COVID “aren’t listening to God,” adding that God wants them vaccinated.
“Yes, I know you’re vaccinated, you’re the smart ones, but you know there’s people out there who aren’t listening to God and what God wants,” Hochul said at a Christian Cultural Center service. “You know this; you know who they are.”
“I need you to be my apostles; I need you to go out and talk about it, and say, we owe this to each other,” the Democrat continued. “We love each other. Jesus taught us to love one another — and how do you show that love but to care about each other enough to say, please get vaccinated because I love you. I want you to live.”
Related: Democrat Gov. Hochul Says Un-Vaxxed Christians ‘Aren’t Listening To God,’ ‘God Wants’ You Vaccinated