Judge denies restraining order in lawsuit against vaccine requirement
A federal lawsuit against New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, over one of her public health orders, is moving forward. But the judge in the case dismissed a request to issue a temporary restraining order to block vaccine requirements for health care workers and state fair attendees.
U.S. District Court Judge Martha Vázquez, through an order on Monday, fast-tracked the lawsuit against Lujan Grisham, but said there was not enough justification to warrant a restraining order. The suit was filed by two New Mexico residents who argued that a recent public health order requiring vaccines for certain activities violates both the New Mexico and U.S. Constitution.
In her order, Vázquez wrote that the two plaintiffs, Jennifer Blackford of Rio Rancho and Talisha Valdez of Union County, still have options under the public health order.
“While alleging that the [public health order] would prevent Blackford from retaining her employment and Valdez from entering the State Fair, the Complaint ignores the existence of the exemptions to the PHO’s vaccination requirements,” Vázquez wrote. “As noted above, the PHO allows for three exemptions to the vaccination requirements for hospital workers and State Fair attendees, including an exemption that can be supported by a mere statement as to the manner in which the administration of a vaccination conflicts with the beliefs of the individual.”
The public health order, in part, requires proof of vaccination to attend the New Mexico State Fair. It also requires healthcare workers to provide proof of vaccination.
But the order also provides exemptions and an alternative to getting vaccinated.