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New York State Unified Court System Defeats Renewed Challenge to Vaccine Mandate

Paul, Weiss won a significant victory on behalf of our client, the New York State Unified Court System, in a renewed attempt by former court employees to challenge the religious exemption procedures for its vaccination requirement on constitutional grounds.

Seven state court employees who were denied religious exemptions to the vaccination requirement brought an Article 78 petition in New York Supreme Court, Steuben County, alleging the requirement was arbitrary and capricious because it violates their constitutional rights and exceeds the UCS’s authority. In April 2022, following briefing and oral argument by the Paul, Weiss team, Justice Kevin Nasca dismissed the Article 78 petition. The petitioners recently filed a motion to renew their challenge based on “new” facts concerning the COVID-19 vaccines.

Following briefing and a one-hour oral argument delivered by litigation associate Matteo Godi, Justice Nasca issued a decision adopting the UCS’s arguments and denying the petitioners’ motion to renew their application for injunctive relief. Justice Nasca agreed with the UCS that the petitioners’ motion was procedurally improper because the 2022 dismissal had resulted in the entry of final judgment. Construing the petitioners’ motion as a motion to vacate the judgment, the court denied it as without merit.

In addition to Matteo, the Paul, Weiss team included litigation partners Bruce Birenboim, Liza Velazquez, Gregory Laufer and Lina Dagnew.

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