July 1, 2019 — NEW YORK UPDATE: Rita Palma
The attorneys for Children’s Health Defense met on Saturday and are working in harmony to fight the repeal bill. CHD is asking for and emphasizing patience in our community until the suits are filed. Strong legal cases take time, careful thought and collaboration. So much is at stake, not just for NY, but for the country. Please trust in the experts who are emotionally invested in this issue, but create a ‘Plan B’.
1.) Harvard trained att’y Michael Sussman (he trounced Rockland County) will be taking the biggest piece regarding religious freedom and a NY child’s right to an education. He will file by the deadline of July 14 and will request a stay SOON thereafter. We are not sure of the exact time frame for the request. This suit will benefit ALL children as will the stay. Mr. Sussman is known for taking on ‘impossible’ cases and winning.
2.) Att’y and author Kim Mack Rosenberg will be taking the Special Education piece of this, also filing by the deadline and requesting a stay. Kim’s memo outlining the Spec Ed issues with this draconian bill has already made the rounds in Albany and beyond. She will bring her talents, credentials and heart to this case. This suit will help children with IEPs and 504s.
3.) The fact that the medical exemptions are virtually impossible to obtain in NYS will also be legally challenged. More on that as the case is formed.
Keep in mind each legal challenge is unique and what is going on in NY CANNOT be compared to other states, like California. SB 277 was well-thought out, compared to what was pushed through NY. CA built in Spec Ed carve-outs, a grandfather clause, a long lead-in, broader medical exemptions etc. NY had NONE of these. In fact, the proposed ‘catch-up’ vaccination schedule is extreme and likely dangerous. This benefits our case by making the egregious bill even more so. The impact on families is enormous and they have had no time to prepare.
Please do nothing that you may be sorry for; help is on the way. I know the uncertainty, humiliation and stress are really back-breaking. I lived it too and alone. Reach out to people who are going through it and spend time with them. It helps.