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October 23, 2021

UPDATE ON TRO CASE

 Taken from an article in The Oregonian

 “A federal judge on Monday denied a last-minute bid by 42 state employees, healthcare providers and school staff to temporarily halt the state’s vaccination mandate.

U.S. District Judge Michael H. Simon rejected their motion for a temporary restraining order, marking the first federal judge’s ruling after at least three state court decisions thwarted similar efforts to block the effort by Gov. Kate Brown and the Oregon Health Authority to force certain workers to get the vaccines or risk losing their jobs.

The judge found the plaintiffs failed to show they will be irreparably harmed by the vaccine mandate and noted that some of those suing the state already have been granted religious or medical exemptions.

While he said some state employees may face firing for failure to be vaccinated, he added that “it’s still only money” and they can get their job back or their pay reinstated if they prevail in the case at a later point.

“Plaintiffs allege the temporary harm to their jobs, income, and benefits. They do not allege discrimination, psychological or emotional harm, or other extraordinary circumstances,” the judge wrote.

Among the plaintiffs are nurses, doctors, teachers and school athletic coaches across Oregon, including a LifeFlight paramedic, a hospice nurse, a dental hygienist and a pharmacist.

Attorney Stephen J. Joncus, representing the plaintiffs, argued that they have a constitutional right “not to be coerced into taking experimental medication,” citing the 14th Amendment and the Nuremberg Code. He argued that the Food and Drug Administration hasn’t formally approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, but approved only the brand name Comirnaty.”

Stay tuned for an update on the case. This is not the end.