New York City businesses are suing Democratic Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio and the City of New York as the mayor’s vaccine mandate went into effect earlier this week.
The mandate requires patrons, as well as employees, to show evidence of at least partial vaccination against COVID-19 to dine indoors, go to entertainment settings, or go to gym and fitness centers.
As The Washington Post reported, “The suit was filed Tuesday in state court in Staten Island by the Independent Restaurant Owners Association Rescue, or IROAR, a group representing about 50 businesses in Staten Island and the Bay Ridge area of Brooklyn. They’re seeking a court order blocking the requirement, which went into effect Monday and applies to indoor restaurants, gyms and entertainment venues.”
In the lawsuit, the business owners argue that the “vaccine mandate is arbitrary and capricious due to the fact that it targets certain establishments but not others with no rationale whatsoever.”
The Associated Press reported, “The group of restauranteurs that filed the lawsuit in Richmond County, which encompasses Staten Island, said restaurants and other establishments included in the city’s vaccine mandate were unfairly targeted because many other places such as grocery stores, hair salons, churches, schools and office buildings were excluded from the mandate.”
“All Plaintiff-Petitioners are small business owners and entities who will be directly, severely, and irreparably harmed by [the executive order],” the lawsuit stated.
The lawsuit also went on to say that it is an “uncontested fact that unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals can both contract COVID-19 and the so-called ‘Delta’ variant, further illustrating the arbitrariness of this Executive Order.”
It added, “Despite this massive disparity and the minimal number of infections being caused, Mayor De Blasio is still mandating people be vaccinated and show proof of such to participate in everyday society.”
The plaintiffs conceded that the “government is fully empowered to take emergency action against life-threatening dangers,” however, they note, “it is bedrock law in this country that constitutional rights and prohibitions do not change in an emergency.”
They also argue that the mandate violates the ability of people to freely practice their religion. “It is against certain religious beliefs to inject a relatively unknown foreign substance into ones body. By mandating such a thing, the Mayor is essentially violating people’s freedom of religion,” the lawsuit stated.
According to The New York Times, de Blasio said on Wednesday that he was sure his order would be successful against the lawsuit.
“I’ve had the conversation with the Law Department — tremendous confidence that we’re in a very strong legal position,” de Blasio said. “We’re in a global pandemic still. The decisions that have been taken with the leadership of our health officials who have been fighting this battle from the beginning.”
When de Blasio announced the mandate, he said, “If you want to participate in our society fully, you’ve got to get vaccinated,” adding, “It’s time.”
As reported by The Daily Wire, “The vaccination requirement, called the ‘Key to NYC Pass’ program, will be enforced for both customers and workers starting on September 13.”
“This is going to be a requirement,” the mayor said. “The only way to patronize these establishments is if you are vaccinated, at least one dose.”