The petition by an Amish father to the New York State Supreme Court to allow his family to practice their faith and allow his children to attend a private Amish school has been denied.
Jonas Stoltzfus has three children, all unvaccinated, who attend the Cranberry Marsh school in Romulus, NY, a town between Rochester and Syracuse.
Amish father Jonas Stoltzfus recently filed a lawsuit challenging a new New York state law requiring students to be fully immunized against contagious disease.
Stoltzfus says he was informed that his three children will be blocked from attending their Cranberry Marsh School, a traditional Amish school in this Seneca County settlement of six church districts. All 24 students at the school are Amish.
Stoltzfus’ case was based on clear religious arguments:
Stoltzfus’ opposition to the law was based on his belief that “God made his children ‘right and good’ and to vaccinate his children is to lose faith in God,” the lawsuit states.
It added he believes “to rely on a manmade solution would be an act of disbelief in the power of our God to heal and protect us.”
A state Supreme Court Justice has now denied Stoltzfus’ legal challenge to temporarily stop the law:
Supreme Court Justice Daniel Doyle ruled that the state has the authority to require vaccinations to protect public health, citing prior appeals court decisions. He also rejected the lawsuit claims that the new law should be halted because it violated religious rights’ protections in the state constitution.
“Put another way, the free exercise clause of the New York Constitution would yield to a valid exercise of the state’s police powers,” Doyle wrote in the order on Tuesday.
Kevin Barry of First Freedoms, Attorney for Mr. Stoltzfus, says that there are no current plans to appeal the decision. The case was unilaterally withdrawn by Mermigis and Barry (without prejudice) while the school remains open.
Barry says that the state of New York has threatened to shut down the Cranberry Marsh School that the Stoltzfus children attend, though the state has taken no action yet.
WSKG has reported that, “Under the rules barring religious exemptions to vaccines, schools can be fined up to $2,000 per day for each student who is out of compliance.”
The First Freedom’s web site notes the unusual choice that the judge made in writing his opinion.
Read the rest at: Amish rules