Federal judge rules New York MUST provide religious exemptions for vaccine mandate

Bryan Babb, DCNF

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that New York state must recognize healthcare workers’ religious exemptions to the state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, according to court documents.

U.S. District Judge David Hurd ruled on Tuesday that the mandate conflicts with “individuals’ federally protected right to seek a religious accommodation from their individual employers,” granting a preliminary injunction to the plaintiffs, according to court documents. In response to the vaccination mandate, 17 anonymous healthcare workers filed a lawsuit challenging the New York State Department of Health.

Hurd also placed limitations on the New York State Department of Health, stating that it “is barred from interfering in any way with the granting of religious exemptions from COVID-19 vaccination going forward, or with the operation of exemptions already granted,” court documents show.

The ruling follows Gov. Kathy Hochul’s statement denying the legitimacy of religious exemptions during a briefing on Sept. 27. She stated that “There are not legitimate religious exemptions because the leaders of all the organized religions have said there’s no legitimate reason,” and that “we’re going to win that in court in a matter of days.”

Following the implementation of the mandate on Sept. 28, thousands of New York healthcare workers who refused to get vaccinated lost their jobs.

“With this decision, the court rightly recognized that yesterday’s ‘front line heroes’ in dealing with COVID-19 cannot suddenly be treated as disease-carrying villains and kicked to the curb by the command of a state health bureaucracy,” said Christopher Ferrara, a lawyer from the Thomas More Society representing New York state healthcare workers, The New York Times reported.

“My responsibility as Governor is to protect the people of this state, and requiring health care workers to get vaccinated accomplishes that. I stand behind this mandate, and I will fight this decision in court to keep New Yorkers safe,” Hochul said in a statement on Tuesday in reaction to Hurd’s ruling.

For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected]


Please help us! If you are fed up with letting radical big tech execs, phony fact-checkers, tyrannical liberals and a lying mainstream media have unprecedented power over your news please consider making a donation to BPR to help us fight them. Now is the time. Truth has never been more critical!

Success! Thank you for donating. Please share BPR content to help combat the lies.


We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

PLEASE JOIN OUR NEW COMMENT SYSTEM! We love hearing from our readers and invite you to join us for feedback and great conversation. If you've commented with us before, we'll need you to re-input your email address for this. The public will not see it and we do not share it.

Latest Articles