N.Y. Supreme Court Strikes Down Hochul’s Quarantine, Isolation Order


OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

The New York Supreme Court has handed Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul another loss.

On Thursday, the state high court ruled that an isolation and quarantine order she issued in February related to public health emergencies was unconstitutional.

Then, the governor authorized state health officials to implement quarantine and isolation mandates whenever they saw fit.

Rule 2.13 of the law, which pertains to Isolation and Quarantine Procedures states: “Whenever appropriate to control the spread of a highly contagious communicable disease, the State Commissioner of Health may issue and/or may direct the local health authority to issue isolation and/or quarantine orders, consistent with due process of law, to all such persons as the State Commissioner of Health shall determine appropriate.”

In addition, the rule gave authorities the ability to “monitor” people to “ensure compliance with the order and determine whether such person requires a higher level of medical care.”

But a Supreme Court justice on Thursday found the rule to be inviolate of the state’s constitution and existing law.


Resist The Mainstream reports:

After the passage of the rule, state Senator George Borello, two Republican state assembly members, and NYS unitedly filed a lawsuit against Governor Hochul and New York Health Commissioner Mary Bassett as well as the state health department and the Public Health and Health Planning Council, arguing that the rule lacked due process and was essentially too vague, giving authorities too much power when determining who to place in quarantine.

Section 2120 of the New York Public Health Law requires that an “independent magistrate” set the terms of detention.

State Supreme Court Justice Ronald Ploetz took a similar stance.

“The efficacy of isolating or quarantining infected individuals has been known to mankind since Biblical times, and probably before,” he wrote in his decision. “Respondents offered no scientific data or expert testimony why Rule 2.13 was a necessary response to combat Covid-19, but instead contend only that it would provide a quick and nimble approach to combatting the pandemic.”

“Involuntary detention is a severe deprivation of individual liberty, far more egregious than other health safety measures, such as requiring mask-wearing at certain venues,” he said. “Involuntary quarantine may have far-reaching consequences such as loss of income (or employment) and isolation from family.”

Resist the Mainstream added that it is likely that the case will now be taken to the state Court of Appeals.

Last month, the New York Supreme Court struck down a law passed by the Democrat majority allowing non-citizens to vote in some state elections.

Earlier in the year, the New York City Council approved a measure to give non-citizens the right to vote in local elections.

Republican lawmakers filed a lawsuit against the measure and the New York Supreme Court ruled that non-citizens do not have the right to vote.

The plan would have added roughly 800,000 New Yorkers to the voting rolls and would have allowed them to vote for mayor, public advocate, city council, borough presidents, and school boards.


Justice Ralph Porzio called the law illegal, saying it violated the New York State Constitution.

“The New York State Constitution expressly states that citizens meeting the age and residency requirements are entitled to register and vote in elections,” he said.

“Though voting is a right so many citizens take for granted, the City of New York cannot ‘obviate’ the restrictions imposed by the Constitution,” Porzio continued, going on to say that “the weight of the citizens’ vote will be diluted by municipal voters and candidates and political parties alike will need to reconfigure their campaigns.”

In striking down the law, Porzio added: “Though Plaintiffs have not suffered harm today, the harm they will suffer is imminent.”

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Staten Island City Councilman Joe Brelli applauded the ruling.

“Today’s decision validates those of us who can read the plain English words of our state constitution and state statutes: Noncitizen voting in New York is illegal, and shame on those who thought they could skirt the law for political gain,” he said.

“Opposition to this measure was bipartisan and cut across the countless neighborhoods and ethnic lines, yet progressives chose to ignore both our constitution and public sentiment in order to suit their aims. I commend the court in recognizing reality and reminding New York’s professional protestor class that the rule of law matters,” he added.

Borelli had opposed the bill at the time it was passed: “Someone who has lived here for 30 days will have a say in how we raise our taxes, our debt, and long-term pension liabilities. These are things people who are temporary residents should not have a say in.”