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New York Appellate Division rejects stay on repeal of religious

Autism Action Network

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Next stop: New York's highest court

Yesterday attorney Michael Sussman, the lead attorney in F.F. v. State of  New York, a case challenging the repeal of the religious exemption in New York,  issued the following statement:

Early this afternoon, the Third Department denied our request for a stay of the religious repeal without any comment. It issued a decision and order with the denial but without explanation.


We will now draft legal papers to present very early next week to the highest court in our State, the New York  State Court of Appeals.

While the courts in our state have been unsympathetic to date to our effort to repeal the repeal, many educators from around the state recognize the absence of any good rationale for the legislature's action and the tremendous disservice the repeal is doing to the state and many families. I thank them for their support.

Earlier today Mr. Sussman issued the following statement:

I read below that many are discouraged that the courts have not intervened and enjoined the religious repeal. Some blame one political party and express concern that Mr. Cuomo has appointed all the Judges. Others ask me to not abandon this fight and express gratitude that I have not. For what it is worth:

1. The assembled lawyers are working for the 26000 evicted [Liz Brehm's word] children...I do not seeing the lawyers giving up any time soon.

2. The judges are from both political parties and represent what I regard as mainstream thinking. Ultimately, if we cannot persuade the New York State Court of Appeals to grant a stay, we will go to the Supreme Court, a majority of whose judges are viewed as more conservative and were appointed by Republican Presidents.

3. In my own experience, our courts often reflect thought prevalent in the society at any given moment more than one or another political party. The perception, whether correct or not, is that a vast majority of people agree with these judicial decisions and the religious exemption repeal. I am not a majoritarian, meaning I do not believe that majorities can always have their way in a system committed to constitutional principle. If the opposite was true, why have courts at all, just subject every decision to a digitized vote. We have a court to be independent of political forces; in practice, this may be a very difficult role, especially on hot button issues. But, as a lawyer I aspire to a system which abides by deeper principles than the transitory whims of majorities.

o, please rest assured we have not given up and will continue the use of the legal system for redress. Of course, you are all encouraged to engage in political activism and public education and, in my view, this is critical to a change in social values on this and other issues."

So come to Albany on Monday to the meeting of the New York Board of Regents, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY. Doors open at 8, Meeting begins at 9. Wear white.

The Regents need to decide if they are going to violate the New York State Constitution's guarantee of an education for "all" students or comply with a bigoted and ill-conceived law. They have to decide if they are going to abide by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or not. They have to decide if they are going to violate Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 by denying 26,000 children an education because of an irrational fear that they could infect others. You being there with your friends. family, kids and others in the same situation as you will help the Regents decide to do the right thing.[capwiz:queue_id]