Sep 21, 2021
UTICA, NY – The Northern District Court of New York has extended the temporary restraining order (TRO) for all health care workers against the state’s unconstitutional attempt to ignore federal law and remove religious exemptions and accommodations from unlawful COVID shot mandates.
Judge David Hurd spontaneously ruled yesterday that “because of the likelihood of irreparable harm to plaintiffs and in light of the fact that the practical effect of the TRO will not begin to restrain the enforcement of the disputed regulation,” he has extended the TRO from September 27, 2021 until October 12, 2021. The court also canceled the in-person oral argument and will rule on or before October 12 regarding the plaintiffs’ request to convert the TRO to a preliminary injunction.
Liberty Counsel also filed a lawsuit against Governor Hochul, Dr. Zucker, Trinity Health, Inc., New York Presbyterian Healthcare System, Inc., and Westchester Medical Center Advanced Physician Services, P.C. in the Eastern District of New York regarding the attempt to remove religious exemptions from the shot mandate. Liberty Counsel is now pursuing a preliminary injunction in the case.
On August 16, 2021, Governor Hochul announced that the state will now require health care workers in all “hospitals, nursing homes, diagnostic and treatment centers, adult care facilities, certified home health agencies, hospices, long-term home health care programs, AIDS home care programs, licensed home care service agencies and limited licensed home care service agencies” to accept or receive one of the three currently available COVID-19 injections to remain employed in the profession. Though Governor Hochul’s announcement initially indicated that there would be “limited exceptions for workers with religious or medical reasons,” the State’s Public Health and Health Planning Council eliminated an exemption and accommodation for religious reasons on August 26. In fact, under the state’s rule change, the only exemptions permitted in New York will be for medical reasons documented by a physician or certified nurse practitioner.
Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “This is a great decision by the Northern District Court to recognize the irreparable harm of not allowing religious exemptions for New York health care workers who have sincerely held objections to the COVID shots. Many of these heroes do not want to inject an experimental substance associated with aborted fetal cells into their bodies. They are also now treating patients who have been injured because of the COVID injections. If these health care workers do not comply with the mandate, they will be terminated, removed from the jobs they love and deprived of their ability to earn a living. However, they have the legal right to request a reasonable accommodation for their sincerely held religious beliefs and forcing COVID shots without exemptions is unlawful. Since this is a government mandate, these health care workers also have rights under the First Amendment Free Exercise Clause.”