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Tags: Coronavirus | south carolina | vaccine | covid 19 | mandate

Federal South Carolina Judge Denies Request to Block Vaccine Mandates

Federal South Carolina Judge Denies Request to Block Vaccine Mandates

By    |   Saturday, 23 October 2021 05:29 PM

Federal Judge David Norton denied a request to impose a temporary injunction blocking vaccine mandates in the South Carolina cities of Charleston, North Charleston, as well as in Charleston County, and the St. Johns Fire District.

Norton's ruling means those municipalities would keep their vaccine mandates in place.

It's not the court's role to determine an employer's policies that "best strike the balance of competing interests in a pandemic," Norton wrote. The judge added that the plaintiffs did not offer a viable legal theory to support an injunction, according to Live 5 WCSC.

Attorney Tom Fernandez, who represented the plaintiffs, nearly 100 first responders, filed the lawsuit requesting the injunction to block the vaccine mandates.

"They felt that it was nothing short of government coercion to get the vaccine," Fernandez said of the first responders, according to The Epoch Times. "We filed a lawsuit in state court alleging their constitutional protections. They did not want the vaccine. They believed it was their religious right to refuse it. They believed it was their right to free speech, right to privacy, and their right to bodily autonomy to not get the vaccine."

"The judge's decision to deny the [temporary restraining order] leaves our 125 plaintiffs and hundreds of other government employees in the position of choosing their job or standing up for their God-given medical freedom," Attorney Josh Hooser, who also represented the plaintiffs, said.

After the judge's decision was made public, North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey said in a statement that the ruling would hopefully persuade those who are vaccine-hesitant into getting vaccinated and that the city would be extending its vaccine deadlines for 14 more days, or until Nov. 19.

The statement reads: 

"The city of North Charleston appreciates Judge Norton's thoughtful consideration of the vaccine policy and looks forward to completing implementation in the days ahead. This is essential to provide a safe working environment for city employees and to deliver safe and efficient services to our citizens. The city is hopeful that some plaintiffs, having read Judge Norton's order, may now wish to comply with the vaccination policy in order to retain employment. The city recognizes that it may not be possible for a plaintiff to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 5, even if they received a first vaccine dose today. Accordingly, the city will grant a 14-day extension, such that no one who becomes fully compliant (either through vaccination or approved waiver) on or before Nov. 19 will be terminated from employment as a result of the policy."

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US
Federal Judge David Norton denied a request to impose a temporary injunction blocking vaccine mandates in the South Carolina cities of Charleston, North Charleston, as well as in Charleston County, and the St. Johns Fire District.
south carolina, vaccine, covid 19, mandate
423
2021-29-23
Saturday, 23 October 2021 05:29 PM
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