Skip to main content

New Yorkers for Religious Liberty v. City of New York

Description:  New York City has mandated its public employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine, even if doing so violates their sincerely held religious beliefs.

New York City cityscape
Tuesday, Feb 7, 2023

WHO:  Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel and Vice President of Appellate Advocacy John Bursch

WHAT:  Available for media interviews following oral arguments in New Yorkers for Religious Liberty v. City of New York

WHEN:  Immediately following hearing, which begins at 10 a.m. EST, Wednesday, Feb. 8

WHERE:  U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse, 40 Foley Square, New York, Courtroom 1505, or view the livestream. To schedule an interview, contact ADF Media Relations Manager AnnMarie Pariseau at (480) 417-3975.

NEW YORK – Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel and Vice President of Appellate Advocacy John Bursch will be available for media interviews Wednesday following oral arguments at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New Yorkers for Religious Liberty v. City of New York. The case involves a New York City mandate that forced city workers to be injected with the COVID-19 vaccine against their sincere religious beliefs if they wanted to keep their jobs and offered religious accommodations only on a discretionary—and discriminatory—basis.

“New York City firefighters, teachers, police officers, sanitation workers, and other public employees have lost their livelihoods, and many are losing their homes, due to the city’s discretionary and unconstitutional vaccine policies,” said Bursch, who will argue before the court on behalf of New Yorkers for Religious Liberty.

“These city heroes have dedicated their lives to serving their neighbors and keeping their city running safely and efficiently, yet New York City officials suspended and fired them because they cannot take the COVID-19 vaccine without violating their sincere religious beliefs,” Bursch continued. “But for athletes, entertainers, and strippers, the city found a way to loosen its mandate. We’re asking the 2nd Circuit to listen to these dedicated public servants, who are simply trying to provide for their families in a manner consistent with their faith. It’s past time New York City honored the faith tradition of its public workers and rescinded its unconstitutional vaccine policies.”

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

# # #

Previous News Releases

Legal Documents

Related Resources

ABOUT John Bursch

John Bursch is senior counsel and vice president of appellate advocacy with Alliance Defending Freedom. Bursch has argued 12 U.S. Supreme Court cases and more than 30 state supreme court cases since 2011, and a recent study concluded that among all frequent Supreme Court advocates who did not work for the federal government, he had the 3rd highest success rate for persuading justices to adopt his legal position. Bursch served as solicitor general for the state of Michigan from 2011-2013. He has argued multiple Michigan Supreme Court cases in eight of the last ten terms and has successfully litigated hundreds of matters nationwide, including six with at least $1 billion at stake. As part of his private firm, Bursch Law PLLC, he has represented Fortune 500 companies, foreign and domestic governments, top public officials, and industry associations in high-profile cases, primarily on appeal. He received his J.D. magna cum laude in 1997 from the University of Minnesota Law School and is admitted to practice in numerous federal district and appellate courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.