Jews, Christians, Amish, Muslims come to NY Supreme Court to protect Religious & Health Freedoms
Everyone is focused on the injunction, but the real story is about
Hostility for People of Faith
August 15, 2019 — Thousands of New Yorkers were present as Michael Sussman & Robert F. Kennedy Jr. made the case in New York Supreme Court on August 14th that the implementation of the repeal of the religious exemption to vaccination must be delayed. Sussman argued that irreparable harm will be done to children if they are denied access to school this September.
According to Rita Palma, when Justice Denise Hartman asked the Assistant State Attorney General Helena Lynch of New York State if irreparable harm would be done to students if they were not allowed to enter school in September, Lynch did not answer directly. This forced the judge to ask the question several times, as the Assistant AG danced around this core issue.
Outside the courthouse speaking to thousands of supporters after the hearing, Michael Sussman stated, “What we heard today, with all due respect, were arguments undeserving of the Attorney General of the most influential state in the United States.”
To be clear on exactly what was at stake in the courtroom, Sussman & RFK are seeking a preliminary injunction on the repeal of the religious exemption. All an injunction will do is temporarily delay the implementation of the repeal law so that children can remain in school for the entire duration of the court case. If at the end of the entire case Sussman & RFK win, children with a religious exemption to vaccination will remain in school and will not have had their education interrupted at all. This will avoid “irreparable damage” to those students and their families. If they lose, only at that time will such children be removed from school. Since we don’t know what the outcome of the case will be, it is better to err on the side of not harming the education of children prior to the final court decision.
But the Attorney General’s Office argues that these children pose a public health threat, and therefore religious beliefs do not supersede the right of the public to be protected from such a risk. This is a patently false argument which has no evidence to back it up.
Those of you who regularly read this blog know that Democratic Assemblyman Tom Abinanti stated on the floor of the New York State Assembly that there is “…no evidence that anyone with a religious exemption has endangered anyone else.” No one has ever refuted him, or shown any evidence to prove he is wrong, because he is not wrong and no such evidence exists. Abinanti also stated on the floor of the Assembly that all the schools that were shutdown during the measles outbreak because they had unvaccinated children on their rosters did not have even one case of measles in the entire school.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. outside the courthouse made it clear that New York State had all the tools available to them to contain a measles outbreak but chose not to use them. These included measures such as quarantining those who were infected and temporarily removing unvaccinated students from schools that had reported cases of measles. That wasn’t done and the result was the outbreak worsened, and it seems this may have been purposefully allowed in order to create a problem that begs a solution.
On August 14th, outside the courthouse in Albany Michael Sussman stated, “(Repealing the religious exemption to vaccination was) a broad solution looking for a problem. There’s one case of measles now in New York City.”
That’s right. Only 1 case of measles today, and not one death in the entire country from measles in over 10 years.
If the problem in New York was measles, why didn’t the State pass legislation on measles? Instead they now require all children to get up to 72 injections of 16 different vaccines to go to school. What does a HEP-B vaccine have to do with measles? New York doesn’t have an outbreak of HEP-B. Not only are multiple vaccination medical procedures being forced on children when they are not necessary, this forcing is being done with a deep disdain for religion: This may be the crucial cornerstone to the entire court case against the repeal of the religious exemption
Hostility for Religion
Sussman & RFK argue – with bountiful evidence – that the religious exemption to vaccination was repealed with disdain and hostility towards people of faith. According to Sussman a 2018 Supreme Court ruling of 7-2 found that this is unconstitutional. No law may be made in the United States of America out of hostility towards people of faith. This new Supreme Court precedent very strongly supports the case to “repeal the repeal.”
There are dozens of examples of mostly Democratic lawmakers in Albany acting in complete and utter contempt of people of faith. The most apparent, disgusting and plane to see of them all came from the law’s sponsor, Jeff Dinowitz.
In an interview with Assembly Update on March 19, 2019, Assemblyman Dinowtiz called the sincerely held beliefs of religious people “Utter Garbage.” If that is not clear evidence of disdain and hostility towards religious people I don’t know what is. Sussman stated the disdain for people of faith in the repeal law is blatant. “In this case there was very little disguise, “said Sussman. “It was right out in the open like this,” Sussman said as he held his fist up in the air.
People claim that in California they had a “religious” exemption to vaccination repealed and that their repeal law has stood for 4 years even against legal court challenges. That is not precisely true. Yes, California no longer has any non-medical exemption statuses for vaccination. However they did not have an explicitly religious exemption that was repealed. They had all of their exemptions under the status of “personal belief” exemption which included religious exemption. In fact the lawsuits in California challenging the repeal of their personal belief exemptions never challenged on religious grounds. In New York we exclusively had a religious exemption as the only non-medical exemption to vaccination.
The New York situation is much different as it is entirely, 100% based around religious beliefs, not personal beliefs. It is highly likely that whether Sussman & RFK win or lose, in the years ahead of us this case will make its way to the Supreme Court.
We do not know when Justice Denise Hartman will make her decision on the injunction, as she gave no immediate indication of when she will make her ruling.
“We have to embrace a greater amount of tolerance in our community,” said Sussman, as he made a plea for tolerance regardless of religious beliefs or political party. He went on to say that today our nation is desperately lacking tolerance across the board. I could not agree with that statement more.
Important Update – As the day ended Rita Palma went to Governor Cuomo’s Office in the Capitol Building with hundreds of supporters to leave photos of their children, but Cuomo had the building locked so none of them could access it:
|Update – Thank you to John Gilmore for disseminating this report:|
Here is an account from inside the Courtroom by Melissa Bordes:
What an amazing turnout today! Despite what MSM is reporting, there were well over 3,000 people in Albany today to hear arguments to the Honorable Judge Denise Hartman for the preliminary injunction.
Attorney Michael Sussman was incredible. The State floundered, and was not as well spoken as Sussman. The State said that the right to free expression of religion doesn’t encompass the right to endanger the public. Sussman responded that if it was truly about public health, then why didn’t NYS isolate and quarantine those who were sick when the outbreaks first started happening? Or during the height of measles cases? Why were none of the existing public health measures followed? Sussman argued that the legislature cannot pass law based upon religious hostility as shown in other cases previously judicated on in US Supreme Court and referenced specific cases to demonstrate this. He also shared many different examples of clear & overt hostility towards those with religious objections to vaccines (“so-called religious beliefs”, “loophole”, etc.) from the sponsors of the bill.
The Honorable Judge Denise Hartman said that she hasn’t seen a response yet from the state in regard to the religious hostility allegation. The State said that the remarks from the plaintiffs claiming hostility are subject to interpretation. The state mentioned that one legislator claims that 90% of phone calls he received were not about religious beliefs but personal beliefs which justifies the skepticism.
The judge asked for clarification about when the law goes in to effect which is 14 days after the start of school. In Sussman’s final five minutes of argument, he spoke about how students with religious exemptions are no more of a threat to public health than students with medical exemptions. He also pointed out how the law doesn’t address high schoolers who are 19 years of age or address any of the adults in schools.
He also spoke about how denying children an education, especially students with special needs who have IEPs and depend on their services is clear irreparable harm.
At the end, Judge Hartman asked the state if they believed not sending kids to school in September would cause irreparable harm for the plaintiffs. The State’s answer was weak. She said that it would cause more harm if they went to school, lost the case, and then removed.
Oral arguments lasted about 45 minutes. Judge Hartman has not made a decision yet on the preliminary injunction.
Once the hearing ended, the attendees then assembled at the capital steps where Attorney Michael Sussman and Attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. of Children’s Health Defense both delivered powerful speeches about the gross infringement of our fundamental rights and how ability to practice free religion is what our country was founded upon. Sussman also highlighted the diversity of religious groups represented in Albany today, including Amish, Ultra Orthodox Jewish, Christians, Protestants and non- denominational groups.
After rousing speeches on the courtroom steps, the crowd of thousands of people walked to the Capital Steps, where we heard from Sussman a second time. Again he spoke about how religious rights are civil rights and how this is an infringement of the very fabric of our constitution. Rita Palma, of NYAVR & CHD NY also spoke about maintaining unity & progress within our community based on our steadfast beliefs.
The crowd then proceeded to go to Governor Cuomo’s office in the capital building where parents left pictures of their children who will now be denied a free and appropriate education, outside his office. It was powerful and extremely moving to see so many families, of all different faiths coming together to stand in unity to advocate for our children who are being cast out of society and denied their basic fundamental rights.Thank you to everyone who came today.
Thank you to Michael Sussman, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr and Elizabeth Brehm for their tireless work on this case. We hope to hear the judges decision within the next few days, please continue to pray and keep taking action.