New York City restaurants and businesses filed a lawsuit against Mayor Bill de Blasio for requiring patrons to show proof of vaccination prior to entering gyms, music venues, restaurants, and more within the city’s limits.
The lawsuit alleges that the mandate unfairly targets select establishments like diners, bars, and movie theaters, but exempts grocery stores, schools, and churches amongst others, therefore is a violation of their constitutional rights.
Court papers filed on Tuesday in the Staten Island Supreme Court say that the mandate does not accommodate vaccination exemptions for those who are allergic to the vaccine, have high-risk pre-existing conditions, have already contracted COVID-19, and people who cannot get the jab due to religious reasons.
“The decision to get the vaccine should ultimately lie with the individual and his doctor, who knows that persons’ complete medical history, rather than a politician,” the lawsuit alleges. “The mayor implemented even more arbitrary executive orders, trampling more recklessly on constitutional rights.”
Court documents also say that the mandate makes it “impossible for anyone who chooses not to be vaccinated for whatever reason, to work in the designated industries.”
De Blasio said that the mandate is “about public health and safety. We’re absolutely certain this is the way to achieve those goals. “Do it in a smart way, a fair way, based on the data and the science.”
He also commented that the city Law Department has “tremendous confidence” that they have legal precedence for the mandate, which the lawsuit seeks to block through a preliminary injunction.
“We know we must get more people vaccinated,” he went on at a Wednesday press conference. “Strategically focusing on the ways to get more people vaccinated — particularly young people, where there’s been a real gap — so we can stop the spread of the Delta variant is mission critical.”