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NYPD detective asks Supreme Court to block vaccine mandate

August 25, 2022 Karen Matthews, Associated Press
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A New York City police detective who has been fighting the city’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate for municipal workers for months filed a motion Thursday asking the U.S. Supreme Court to prevent the city from firing him for refusing to get the shot.

Detective Anthony Marciano asked Justice Sonia Sotomayor for an injunction stopping the city from enforcing its mandate while his case is on appeal before the Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

Marciano, a 10-year police veteran, first sued in New York state court in December 2021 over the mandate requiring New York City employees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, with some medical and religious exemptions allowed.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Eagle file photo by Rob Abruzzese

State Supreme Court Justice Frank Nervo granted a temporary restraining order barring the city from firing him, but the city had the case moved to federal court, where Judge Jed Rakoff threw out the restraining order.

Marciano appealed Rakoff’s ruling to the 2nd Circuit, which declined to reinstate the temporarary restraining order.

Marciano argues in his legal filing that he has “natural immunity” to COVID-19 from serving as a front-line worker early in the pandemic and that the vaccines against the virus have “simply too many adverse consequences that applicant is unwilling to risk.”

Health authorities say the COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the United States are safe, and they recommend vaccination whether people have acquired some immunity from previous infections or not.

Marciano’s lawsuit names Mayor Eric Adams, Police Commissoner Keechant Sewell and other city officials as defendants.

A police department spokesperson said the department would not comment on pending litigation. A message seeking comment was sent to representatives for Adams and the city law department.

Also on Thursday, leaders of the union representing city firefighters held a news conference to discuss the status of firefighters who face termination over their refusal to get vaccinated. A message seeking comment was sent to the Fire Department.

More than 1,000 New York City employees have been fired for refusing the vaccines, and others are waiting to find out whether their requests for exemptions will be approved.

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