Federal court temporarily blocks Covid-19 vaccine order for New York City teachers

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has issued a notice putting the motion on the calendar for Wednesday, according to a spokesman for the New York City Law Department.

New York City Department of Education officials do not expect the decision before Wednesday, press secretary Danielle Filson said. But the department remains confident that the mandate will be upheld “when all the facts are presented, because that is the level of protection that our students and staff deserve.”

CNN reported that thousands of teachers may not be in their classrooms next Tuesday, in the morning the validity of the order will take effect. Unions representing teachers, principals and supervisors said the introduction of the mandate was so difficult to handle that many school employees would be suspended.

Currently, more than 82% of Department of Education employees are vaccinated, Filson said, “and we continue to urge all employees to be shot on Sept. 27.”

The request for an injunction by the plaintiffs in the case was denied Thursday by U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan. According to his order, the plaintiffs were, in part, arguing that the mandate was a violation of their constitutional rights. But Cogan wrote the mandate was a “rational policy decision” that would help protect children during a pandemic.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. On Friday, the interim injunction was given a pending review of the three -judge panel’s motion “on an expedited basis.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the mandate in August, after the entire U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave Pfizer / BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine full approval, making the Covid-19 mitigation strategy a key pillar of the nation’s largest school district vaccination Covid-19. The mandate did not provide an option for employees to be tested regularly in lieu of inoculation.

CNN reached out to de Blasio’s office for comment.

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