Federal Judge Issues Major Ruling on Vaccine Mandates, Declares Religious Exemptions Must Be Allowed

A federal judge ruled that religious exemptions must be upheld against receiving the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

The ruling came down in New York as health care workers are fighting back against the mandate.

A lawsuit was filed by health care workers who face losing their jobs if they fail to take the jab.

U.S. District Judge David Hurd of the Northern District of New York gave his decision in a 27-page ruling.

If health care workers do not want to be vaccinated due to religious reasons, the state is banned from any retaliation against those workers, Hurd ruled.

17 health anonymous care professionals led the lawsuit.

This means they can keep their jobs. It’s a major loss for radical leftists forcing the drug on Americans.

Hurd said, “The Department of Health is barred from taking any action, disciplinary or otherwise, against the licensure, certification, residency, admitting privileges or other professional status or qualification of any of the plaintiffs on account of their seeking or having obtained a religious exemption from mandatory COVID-19 vaccination.”

In addition, the ruling protects companies from facing any punishment from the state for employing unvaccinated health care workers who do receive an exemption.

— Advertisement —

“Plaintiffs hold the sincere religious belief that they ‘cannot consent to be inoculated … with vaccines that were tested, developed or produced with fetal cell[ ] line[s] derived from procured abortions,’” it argued.

Both Joe Biden as well as then-Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo have been pushing the mandate even against those who do not want to receive it.

On Aug. 16, Cuomo’s office said “all healthcare workers in New York State, including staff at hospitals and long-term care facilities… including nursing homes, adult care, and other congregate care settings, will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Monday, September 27.”

Cuomo said, “When COVID ambushed New York last year, New Yorkers acted, while the Federal Government denied the problem.”

“Now, the Delta variant is spreading across the nation and across New York,” he continued.

“Our healthcare heroes led the battle against the virus, and now we need them to lead the battle between the variant and the vaccine,” he added.

“I have strongly urged private businesses to implement vaccinated-only admission policies, and school districts to mandate vaccinations for teachers,” Cuomo said. “Neither will occur without the state legally mandating the actions — private businesses will not enforce a vaccine mandate unless it’s the law, and local school districts will be hesitant to make these challenging decisions without legal direction.”

More from Western Journal:

Melanie Franco, the attorney for the plaintiffs, commented on the lawsuit in September.

“Health care workers could still get medical exemptions, but not religious exemptions. Their arguments are that it goes against not only the constitution but also the New York State Human Rights Law,” Franco said, according to WROC.

The outlet reported that Hurd said he would welcome an appeal to his decision in favor of the state’s health care workers.

“[The ruling has] nothing to do with how an individual employer should handle an individual employee’s religious objection to a workplace vaccination requirement. But they have everything to do with the proper division of federal and state power,” the judge said.

“Because the issues in dispute are of exceptional importance to the health and the religious freedoms of our citizens, an appeal may very well be appropriate,” he said.