New York City, NY – November 18, 2021, oral argument was heard in Bravo, et al, v. de Blasio, a NYC case against the racial disparate impact on Blacks of New York City mayor Bill de Blasio’s EEO #225.
Continuing his fight against the unconstitutional and racially biased vaccine mandates, put in effect by former Mayor de Blasio, Attorney Sheldon Karasik made oral arguments, in support of a Complaint filed September 1, 2021. The Judge scheduled a two hour hearing for January 11, 2022.
A Reply Memorandum of Law, November 17, 2021, supported by America’s Frontline Doctors (AFLDS) was filed earlier this week. The initial filing by Karasik, was made on behalf of four Black Americans alleging that the “Key to NYC,” EEO #225’s vaccine mandate is racist on its face and has a “disparate impact” on Black citizens of and visitors to New York City.
The November 18, 2021 oral argument and Memorandum filed drills home the point that the “Key to NYC,” a vaccine mandate requiring individuals to be vaccinated in order to access public venues, such as restaurants and movie theaters, is arbitrary and capricious and without any legal authority. AFLDS has been fighting with attorneys around the country to oppose numerous such actions.
Citing recent court decisions by courts in New York and Pennsylvania, Karasik likens the merits of his claim to those made in other cases successful in striking down Covid-19 executive actions taken by de Blasio since the start of the pandemic. The filing is supported by affidavits from numerous doctors who attest to issues that put into question whether the City can justify their actions by continuing to claim a public health emergency exists. An emergency which commenced 20 months ago. Additional expert attestations challenge the effectiveness of the vaccines in preventing the transmission of the Delta variant.
The main legal assertions that the Plaintiff’s make is that New York City has no legal authority to continue to impose onerous and restrictive emergency measures in perpetuity in the absence of any current scientific or other facts supporting them. Further, local New York City officials are preempted from regulating communicable diseases because that authority rests with the State Commissioner of Public Health. Additionally, the “Key to NYC” Program denies plaintiffs their rights to procedural due process since City officials violated their own rules by not providing for notice and a hearing for any “emergency” order that extends past 60 days.
EEO #225 also violates New York State’s constitutional protections to the right to privacy and bodily integrity. Decades of federal jurisprudence have firmly established that a person has a right to privacy, which includes the recognition that a compelled physical intrusion into the human body is a fundamental and protected liberty interest. Additionally, the filing advances the initial Complaint by arguing that New York City can show no compelling state interest for the mandates, nor have they offered up any facts that suggest that a more narrowly tailored executive action would not meet that interest. The “Key to NYC” Program is both over and under inclusive, and as such is not legally defensible. Furthermore, with regard to the disparate impact claim, the City has not provided any evidence to refute the claim that EEO #225 disproportionately excludes black residents from New York City life, and as such, the executive order violates the New York City Human Rights Law (CCHR).
Lead counsel in the case, Sheldon Karasik, a New York employment attorney, stated, after his oral argument, “I was heartened that the judge recognized this as one of the most important cases around the country and that the judge indicated he would write, after a continued hearing on January 11, 2022, ‘an eloquent and very thoughtful decision.’”