BATH, N.Y. (WETM) — Non-judicial employees have filed a lawsuit against the New York State Unified Court System to challenge the COVID-19 vaccine mandate implemented last fall for all UCS workers.
The lawsuit from the “Petitioners”—the non-judicial Court System employees—claims that the UCS COVID vaccine mandate “is arbitrary and capricious because it fails to provide an exception for employees who have natural immunity” and violates their First Amendment rights by not allowing for religious exemptions, according to an announcement from HoganWillis PLLC, the law firm representing the Petitioners.
The group filing the lawsuit consists of two UCS Court Clerks, a Court Assistant, two Senior Court Officers, a Secretary to a State Supreme Court Justice, and a senior court office assistant. All of them claim that they submitted religious exemption requests for the vaccine mandate and were denied by the NY Court System. Six of the seven were later deemed “unfit for duty” and “prohibited from working”, according to the lawsuit.
For example, the lawsuit claimed that, Gwen Nania, the Secretary to a State Supreme Court Justice, “stated that she believes that her body is a temple of God and that the presence of human cells and debris in the COVID-19 vaccine prevents her from vaccination.” Nania also said she believes COVID-19 vaccines assume the position of God and “that she will not partake in anything that would alter her God-created genes.”
The lawsuit claimed that all governments—federal and state—refuse to acknowledge the “now recognized superiority of natural immunity” as opposed to immunity from a vaccine. It goes on to say that those who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection now have “superior, broader immunity than those” who received “the experimental mRNA vaccines”, adding that “it is medically and scientifically senseless” to mandate a vaccine for people with “natural immunity”.
In October, the Albany County Supreme Court denied a request from several court unions for a preliminary injunction against the New York State court system COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Chief Judge Janet DiFiore said the vaccine mandate will be fully implemented for all court staff.
Oral arguments for the lawsuit are scheduled to be heard in the Steuben County Court on April 4, 2022 at 2:00 p.m.
The full lawsuit can be read below: