Civil rights attorney aims to overturn Rockland’s local emergency order

Posted: Updated:

A civil rights attorney is heading to court to fight Rockland County's emergency order involving minors who are unvaccinated against the measles.

The order, which was declared last week, bars anyone under 18 who is not vaccinated against the measles from being in public places.

Civil rights attorney Michael Sussman says he's heading to court Thursday, hoping a judge will temporarily declare the order invalid.

"The order is not being appropriately used. There is no warrant for an order of this sort in this situation. There are other things that can be done. The county has not done them," says Sussman.

Sussman, who is representing 32 petitioners, mostly parents from around the county, says the county should have instead quarantined the infected.

Rockland County officials said in a statement that the good of many must outweigh the preference of the few.

"While we can understand the frustration of those restricted by the county executive's declaration of a state of emergency regarding the measles, it is not the county executive's job to cater to individuals. The county executive is responsible to the entire populace of the county and is using the powers granted to him by the law to take the course he deems fit to protect the population as a whole,” says Rockland County Attorney Thomas Humbach.

The number of confirmed reported cases of the measles in Rockland County has risen to 161 over the course of the outbreak.

The county has scheduled a free measles vaccine clinic for Friday.

MORE: Executive Day: 500 vaccinations given since start of measles emergency , Free MMR vaccines follow measles state of emergency in Rockland , Rockland’s measles outbreak not over; new exposure locations revealed , Officials: 118 of Rockland’s 144 confirmed measles cases did not have vaccine , Assemblyman proposes bill to end religious exemptions for measles vaccine 


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