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New York Supreme Court Hands Down Major Victory on Vaccine Mandates

AP Photo/LM Otero

The New York Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that state government workers, including first responders, fired for refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine should not only be reinstated to their jobs, but given backpay. 


"It is clear that the Health Commissioner has the authority to issue public health mandates. No one is refuting that authority. However, the Health Commissioner cannot create a new condition of employment for City employees. The Health Commissioner cannot prohibit an employee from returning to work. The Health Commissioner cannot terminate employees. The Mayor cannot exempt certain employees from these orders. Executive Order No. 62 renders all of these vaccine mandates arbitrary and capricious," the ruling states. "Being vaccinated does not prevent an individual from contracting or transmitting Covid-19. As of the day of this Decision, CDC guidelines regarding quarantine and isolation are the same for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals."

"We have learned through the course of this pandemic that the vaccine against Covid-19 is not absolute. Breakthrough cases occur, even for those who have been vaccinated and boosted. President Joseph Biden has said the pandemic is over. The State of New York ended the Covid-19 state of emergency over a month ago," the ruling continues. "As this  Court stated in its decision in the Rivicci matter, this is not a commentary on the efficacy of vaccination, but about how we were treating our first responders, the ones who worked day-to-day through the height of the pandemic," the ruling continues. "They worked without protective gear. They were infected with Covid-19, creating natural immunity. They continued working full duty while their exemption requests were pending. They were terminated and are willing to come back to work for the City that cast them aside."


The Court also knocked government officials for abusing emergency powers. 

"States of emergency are meant to be temporary. The question presented is whether the Health Commissioner has the authority to enact a permanent condition of employment during a state of emergency. This Court finds that the Commissioner does not have that authority and has acted beyond the scope of his authority under the Public Health Law and in violation of separation of powers. The Petitioners herein should not have been terminated for their failure to comply with the Commissioner's Order during a temporary state of emergency," the ruling states. 

New York City Major Eric Adams and Governor Kathy Hochul have repeatedly justified their tyrannical vaccine mandates, which resulted in the firing of firefighters, police officers, nurses, doctors and others who worked on the frontlines of the pandemic. 


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