The plaintiffs, 55 NYS families who held lawful religious exemptions, request that the court enjoin the enactment of the repeal temporarily, preliminarily and permanently.
The plaintiffs are of diverse religious faiths, including Christianity, Judaism and Islam. As a result of the repeal, these families can no longer educate their children in any schools or camps in New York without violating their religious faith. The parents who bring the suit seek to represent thousands of other families likewise affected by the repeal.
The complaint argues that the repeal violates both state and federal law. And, the repeal of this longstanding religious right, without a single public hearing, unreasonably interferes with religious freedom. "To deprive families of the rights to freedom of religious expression, parental rights, and the right to either a public or private education, the state must demonstrate a "compelling state interest" that the state has failed to prove here," said Sussman. Furthermore, the state must act with neutrality towards all religious faiths and may not display impermissible animosity or hostility to religion.