Tague Announces Latest Win in Lawsuit Challenging Department of Health Quarantine Regulations

Assemblyman Chris Tague (R,C,I-Schoharie) is joining Sen. George Borrello (SD-57) and Assemblyman Michael Lawler (R,C,I,SAM-Pearl River) in announcing their latest victory in their lawsuit filed in the New York State Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of a regulation establishing isolation and quarantine procedures for those suspected of having a communicable disease.

Following an attempt by the governor and state Department of Health to remove the case to federal court, the suit’s plaintiffs won a motion to amend their petition and remand the case back to state court. There, they will be provided the opportunity to lay out their case during a hearing.

The regulation, 10 NYCRR 2.13, would allow the state Health Department to coordinate with a local health authority to mandate isolation and quarantine for individuals exposed to communicable diseases for indefinite periods of time, even in locations that aren’t their homes. Tague and others opposed to this regulation argue its implementation through the regulatory process violates the separation of powers, and that such a consequential measure should be properly considered, debated and voted upon within the state Assembly.

The citizens’ group who initiated this lawsuit, Uniting NYS, maintains a web page detailing the latest developments in the case.

“We’re winning in court despite the best attempts of the governor and the Health Department to slow the progress of our suit because this policy’s implementation has been entirely unconstitutional,” said Tague. “When this policy was proposed as a bill (A.416) it had only a single sponsor, and never went anywhere in the legislative process. Despite this, my colleagues and I received a tremendous volume of outreach over the last several years from constituents concerned this frightening bill could become law. Now that the governor has attempted to subvert the will of the people and our lawmaking process by trying to make this policy law through the regulatory process, we have been forced to seek the assistance of the court to prevent this power grab.”