STATEN ISLAND, NY – The fate of a federal lawsuit, filed by a group of New York City teachers, seeking to block the COVID-19 vaccine requirement is now in the hands of a panel of three members of the United States Court of Appeals.
The latest development comes as the appeals court ruled on Friday evening to issue a temporary injunction on the warrant.
The review of the decision by Brooklyn Federal Court Judge Brian M. Cogan is being expedited and could possibly take place on Saturday or Sunday.
Cogan decided Thursday to maintain the mandate, calling it “reasonable”.
“No one will have the last word if it turns out that in 10 or 20 years the complainants’ fear of the long-term harmful effects of vaccination proves to be justified … However, the court cannot reasonably conclude that The (city’s) arguments in favor of vaccination have not been made in good faith, or that they are irrational, ”he added.
The city’s Department of Education (DOE) reiterated in a statement its position that it ultimately believes the mandate will stand.
“We are confident that our immunization mandate will continue to be met once all the facts have been presented, as this is the level of protection that our students and staff deserve,” a spokesperson for the DOE.
Although a temporary injunction is in place, the DOE stressed that its current “vax-or-test” mandate remains in effect and that it seeks “an early resolution by the Circuit Court next week.”
The DOE has said more than 82% of its employees have been vaccinated and it continues to urge all employees to get vaccinated by Monday, when the original mandate was due to go into effect.
The plaintiffs who filed a lawsuit against the city two weeks ago, made up of hundreds of the city’s teachers, argue that the vaccine’s mandate is arbitrary and capricious and interferes with their right to practice the profession they have. chosen. In addition, they raised concerns about the potential long-term effects of a newly developed vaccine for which no long-term data are available.
The plaintiffs are represented by Staten Island lawyers Louis Gelormino and Mark J. Fonte.
“We are aware of the anxiety of our customers and hope to prevail on appeal,” Fonte told Staten Island Advance / SiLive.com on Friday night.
SEPARATE STATE LEGAL PROCEDURE
A Manhattan State Supreme Court judge responding to a separate lawsuit on Wednesday, decided to lift the temporary injunction on the city’s vaccination mandate.
“The applicants will be unable to establish a probability of final success on the merits,” detailed Laurence Love, judge of the Supreme Court of Manhattan, who presided over this case. He added that “[the petitioners] will also be unable to prevail in a balance of actions, as the health interests of the general public far outweigh the interests of petitioners. “
In the decision, Love noted that the city provided a path for “reasonable accommodation otherwise required by law.”
A final ruling on this trial is expected sometime next week, although given Wednesday’s ruling it seems likely that the warrant will stand.
As previously reported by Staten Island Advance / SiLive.com, the immunization mandate applies to teachers, principals, custodians, administration, food service workers and school safety officers, as well as employees. working at the DOE central office.