Challenge to New Jersey’s COVID vaccination executive order dismissed

Challenge to New Jersey’s COVID vaccination executive order dismissed

February 15, 2022 0 By T.A. DeFeo

A three-judge appellate panel has dismissed a challenge to Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive order mandating state and county correctional police officers receive their COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters.

The judges dismissed the challenge from the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association (PBA), which sought to stop Executive Order No. 283 mandating up-to-date COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters for workers at health care facilities and high-risk congregate settings, including jails and prisons.

“In the final analysis, there are times when individual self-interests like those asserted by appellants must take a backseat to the responsibilities we all have toward each other,” Superior Court Judge Clarkson S. Fisher wrote in a ruling.

The PBA said the ruling will “lead to massive gaps in safety at our jails” and “more attacks on the remaining officers” who will be required to work overtime to cover staffing shortages.

“We are obviously extremely disappointed with the Court’s decision to uphold the vaccine mandate for correctional police officers,” the PBA said in a statement. “This is not only a loss for these officers to make their own medical decisions, but it is going to have damaging public safety consequences should layoffs result from it.

“Testing and masking were not an unreasonable approach to limit the spread of a virus that seems to be retreating,” the group added. “In fact, in New Jersey and all around the world Covid restrictions are being lifted. It makes no sense for New Jersey to double down on one set of employees while removing restrictions for countless others.”

In its statement, the PBA said it is weighing its next steps.

“In essence, this judge is making not a legal but an emotional appeal, saying the government owns your body and owns your decisions, and if you think otherwise, you are a selfish Grandma killer,” Assemblywoman Beth Sawyer, R-Gloucester, said in a statement. “At a time when cases are rapidly dropping and the narrative is falling apart – the vaccines don’t stop transmission, and don’t guarantee you won’t end up hospitalized or dead – the court’s decision is out of step with reality.”

This article was originally posted on Challenge to New Jersey’s COVID vaccination executive order dismissed