Challenging School Mask Mandates and the “State of Emergency”
by Michael Kane
Attorney Patricia Finn and Carl Schwartz of NY STANDS UP (pictured above) are challenging Governor Cuomo’s policy of forcing children to wear masks to attend school, as well directly challenging the “State of Emergency” claiming there is no disaster in New York based on CDC’s own data. Finn is representing one mother of three children fighting to unmask her children in school and “all other children similarly situated.”
It is interesting to note that it was only two weeks after this lawsuit was filed that Governor Cuomo officially ended the “State of Emergency” in New York, which begs the question was Cuomo’s decision related to the filing of this lawsuit?
Just days before this petition was filed with the court, Governor Cuomo engaged in one of the most ridiculous political flip-flops in recent memory. He had his health commissioner Howard Zucker revoke the mandatory in-school mask policy, only to have his department of education (which Cuomo controls) reinstate mandatory masking just 48 hours later. This enraged thousands of New Yorkers and was in fact the catalyst for 11-year-old Jenna Miller refusing to wear a mask in her Ulster County, NY elementary school. She was subsequently kicked out of in-person education because of her brave act of defiance. Miller protested with TEACHERS FOR CHOICE in Manhattan on June 12th, which was covered by The NY Post.
Attorney Patricia Finn has been extremely successful in past litigation involving religious and medical exemptions to vaccination. One notable victory of Finn’s was on behalf of Carl Schwartz’s son, Thorn Schwartz.
Thorn was a 12-year-old boy (at the time of the case) with Autism who had a valid medical exemption to vaccination for many years. When Governor Cuomo had Howard Zucker change health regulations pertaining to medical exemptions in September of 2019, Thorn’s valid exemption was illegally revoked and he was banned from public school. However on January 30, 2020, Judge Dan Doyle signed an order honoring Thorn’s medical exemption to vaccination, returning the boy to school. Unfortunately the ruling does not appear to have set a precedent allowing all such similarly situated children as Thorn to have their medical exemptions to vaccination reinstated.
Less than two months after this victory the COVID crisis struck New York.
Attorney Michael Sussman is currently involved in separate litigation seeking justice for medically fragile children who were kicked out of school by reinstating their valid medical exemptions to vaccination. Sussman discussed the details of these ongoing cases during an interview conducted by Jason Goodman that you can watch here.
Sussman is also TEACHERS FOR CHOICE’s attorney.
We firmly supports Finn, Schwartz and all of the good work coming from NY STANDS UP focused on preserving and regaining the freedom to make individual medical choices with one’s own doctor. Below is an update from NY STANDS UP regarding their most recent lawsuit challenging Cuomo’s mandatory in-school masking policy:
On June 10, 2021, NY Stands Up! Attorney Patricia Finn, filed for a temporary restraining order (TRO) in the New York State Supreme Court of Nassau County. The TRO, filed on behalf of the plaintiff, her minor children and all children similarly situated, seeks a preliminary injunction to remove mask mandates in schools by declaring that COVID-19 does not rise to the level of a deadly “epidemic.” You can read the complaint HERE.
Judge Pineda-Kirwan was assigned to the case and, on June 28th, she denied the TRO. This decision was made regardless of the fact that one of the defendants, (Locust Valley Central School District), did not even object to the TRO.
Needless to say, an appeal on the decision is forthcoming and our legal team is well prepared so stay tuned…