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Albany court finds school vaccination law constitutional

Dec 10, 2019 1:15 pm
Bethany Bump is reporting for the Times Union a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of New York's new school vaccination requirements was dismissed last week by an Albany judge. More than 50 families took legal action in July, alleging the law, which eliminated religious exemptions to school vaccination rules, was the result of religious hostility and a violation of their religious freedom rights under the U.S. Constitution. The plaintiffs were represented by attorneys Michael Sussman and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who argued that an array of comments by individual legislators revealed a motive of hostility toward religion. In the decision, Albany County Supreme Court Justice Denise Hartman said events leading up to the law's passage “all lead to the inexorable conclusion” that the repeal was driven by public health concerns, not religious animus. “Here, the comments of some legislators, even if susceptible to inferences of discriminatory animus and even taking such inferences as true, would not transmute the collective decision of the New York State Legislature and governor to repeal the religious exemption from a neutral law of general applicability to one that targets religious beliefs,” Hartman wrote. New York enacted the law June 13 in response to a measles outbreak affecting New York City and several downstate counties. Read the full story in the Times Union.