SCOTUS rejects challenge to 2019 NY religious exemption repeal 

New Direction: No more exemptions just informed consent

Everyone who wants your vote this election needs to support codifying the right to say NO to any vaccine or medical procedure into NY Stat Law


by John Gilmore


     Yesterday the United States Supreme Court refused to hear a case filed by 55 New York families and Children’s Health Defense challenging the legality of the June 13, 2019 repeal of the religious exemption from vaccine mandates to attend school. This has been a long, hard-fought battle in four different courts. The New York families were represented by attorneys Michael Sussman, Mary Holland, Sujata Gibson and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

     In a statement lead attorney Michael Sussman said, “Today we learned that the U S Supreme Court will NOT hear the religious repeal case we have argued for the last almost three years. As those who have followed the case know, the legislature in NY repealed the 50-year-old religious exemption for students in June 2019. It did so with hateful rhetoric accusing religious people of being fraudsters. I believe this violated the first amendment which this court explicitly has held does not suffer any state action smitten with religious intolerance. I had expected this court to reaffirm this principle, but four justices did not vote to hear our case. So, we have lost. The only hope now is in the state legislature, and hope is hard to find there.”

     There was, however, ample evidence leading up to passing the bill  that state legislators had shown open hostility to both people of faith and faith in general. “Comments of the leaders of the New York legislature spoke of profound religious intolerance, which motivated the repeal of the religious exemptions,” Sussman said.

     For example, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins was quoted in a newspaper referring to the repeal, saying, “We have chosen science over rhetoric.”

     Assembly sponsor Jeffrey Dinowitz said in a television interview, “There is nothing, nothing in the Jewish religion, in the Christian religion, in the Muslim religion … that suggests that you can’t get vaccinated. It is just utter garbage.”

     State Senator Brad Hoylman, prime Senate sponsor, also deprecated those who hold religious exemptions, stating, “Let’s face it. Non-medical exemptions are essentially religious loopholes, where people often pay for a consultant to try to worm their way out of public health requirements that the rest of us are following.”

     In an editorial, State Senator James Skoufis referred to the “so-called ‘religious exemption,”‘ writing that “the time is now to end the state’s nonsensical and dangerous religious exemption.” He concluded that “We’ve already wasted too much time debating this issue.” But Skoufis failed to mention that neither the Senate nor the Assembly convened even a single hearing on the topic.

     Short of some cataclysmic political upheaval there is no future for a “religious exemption” in New York. That does not mean that there is no hope that the power of the state to make vaccination decisions for our children and adults cannot be taken away from our overlords in Albany.

     The Covid event has put on display for all the pervasive corruption and ineptitude of the vaccine industry, and the public health industry that serves as its taxpayer provided  marketing wing. Heretical ideas that the people in charge of vaccine policy could not be trusted have moved from a small fringe to the mainstream. Before Covid, adding a new vaccine to the required schedule by legislators was a given. Now you will be challenged to find more than a handful of legislators who would publicly support requiring the Covid shot for children to attend school. 

     That shift presents us with an opportunity to reframe the way vaccination is done. The day of the exemption is over. The Democrats in Albany are far too hostile to people of faith to ever bring it back. And medical exemptions are nearly impossible to come by because physicians are intimidated and threatened by the state. There was never any room in New York for people who made the decision that a vaccine simply did not meet their own risk/benefit analysis. An “exemption” is based on the idea that the state has the authority to make medical decisions for all,but will allow and tolerate some exceptions. This way of doing things is based on the assumption that we have a benevolent, honest, competent, science-based public health apparatus striving to achieve the common good. That assumption was demolished by what we have all seen since February of 2020. 

     The idea that the state has the right to make these decisions for all has been tested and the state failed. Medical decisions on the basis of strict informed consent by the person undergoing treatment, or by the parent of a minor child is the only credible alternative. The direction forward is to assert that individuals, and only individuals, have the right to decided what is injected into their body. Is there any idea more dearly held by progressives than, “My body my choice?” With the imminent repeal of Roe v. Wade the flaming contradiction is obvious to all.  And with two years of complete disregard for the wellbeing of children in the competition to see who could be the biggest purveyor of Covid fear porn does anyone really believe the powers-that-be would ever put the health interests of children first? Of course not, which is why we have to insist that vaccination decisions for children must be made by parents, and only parents, with no interference from schools, the state, employers or anyone else. 

     We are approaching an election that pundits predict will result in a major upheaval. The recent redistricting in New York is already producing change. A key question we should all be asking candidates for all state and federal offices is, “Who makes vaccine decisions for me? Me or you?  And. “Who makes vaccine decisions for my children? Me or you?’ The answers for those questions will tell you all you need to know on November 8.

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