On Tuesday, Judge David Hurd of the Northern District Court of New York granted a temporary restraining order (TRO) for all health care workers against the state’s vaccine mandate. 

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The state has until Sept. 22, to respond to the judge’s order. If the governor’s legal team opposes the TRO conversion to a preliminary injunction, both legal teams will meet on Sept. 28 for the judge to hear arguments. 

The Liberty Counsel, a non-profit law firm, announced it has filed a separate case against Governor Hochul, Dr. Zucker, Trinity Health, Inc., New York Presbyterian Healthcare System, Inc., and Westchester Medical Center Advanced Physician Services, P.C. 

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “This is a great victory for all health care workers in New York who have sincerely held religious objections to the COVID shots. New York is required to abide by federal law and the U.S. Constitution to provide protections to employees who have sincerely held religious objections to the COVID shots. Governor Hochul and New York health care facilities cannot override federal law and force health care workers to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs by forcing them to inject an experimental substance. All New York health care workers have the legal right to request reasonable accommodation for their sincerely held religious beliefs and forcing COVID shots without exemptions is unlawful.”

As CBN News reported, 17 medical professionals have sued the state of New York in federal court to stop what their lawyers call the “patently unconstitutional vaccine mandate for health care workers.”

Attorneys with Thomas More Society, a non-profit national public interest law firm, filed the lawsuit Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York.  They allege the state’s vaccine mandate attempts to nullify protections for sincere religious beliefs granted under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, even though days earlier the state of New York had afforded protection for religious beliefs in its prior health order. 

“What New York is attempting to do is slam shut an escape hatch from an unconstitutional vaccine mandate,” Thomas More Society Special Counsel Christopher Ferrara said in a statement. “And they are doing this while, knowing that many people have sincere religious objections to vaccines that were tested, developed, or produced with cell lines derived from aborted children.”

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Ferrara is representing the health workers in the federal case against the state, along with Thomas More Society Vice President and Senior Counsel Peter Breen, Senior Counsel Stephen Crampton, and Counsel Michael McHale. 

The lawsuit seeks a Temporary Restraining Order and a preliminary injunction, then a permanent and final injunction against the vaccine mandate’s prohibition of accommodations of sincere religious beliefs.

As CBN News reported, New York set a deadline for all healthcare workers in the state to get vaccinated if they wanted to keep their current positions.

In August, a mandate was issued that all employees at hospitals and long-term care facilities across New York get their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination by September 27.

Since the mandate was announced, many medical professionals have resigned their positions in protest.  As CBN News reported over the weekend, one New York hospital announced that it will temporarily stop delivering babies for at least two weeks due to a shortage of medical staff after 30 people resigned at that hospital over COVID-19 vaccination mandates.

Ferrara called the vaccine mandate “a brazen power grab by people who think they can get away with anything.”

“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 explained. “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.”

The suit alleges that, in addition to violating the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution by purporting to strip away Title VII protections, the vaccine mandate also violates the Free Exercise Clause of the Constitution. 

“These plaintiffs are not – I repeat – not anti-vaxxers, as the fake news media calls them,” 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.” 

Note that the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute reports abortion-derived cell lines were not used in the development or production of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines but sometimes were used in lab testing. The Institute reports that abortion-derived cell lines were used in the development and production of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as well as in lab testing. 

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