One of NY’s most senior judges barred from courthouse over COVID-19 vaccine

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One of the state’s most senior judges has refused to get vaccinated or search a medical exemption — and may now not enter the courthouse, The Post has discovered.

Associate Court of Appeals Judge Jenny Rivera is the one state jurist out of a complete of roughly 1,300 who declined the jab and failed to use for a medical or spiritual waiver.

The Columbia University School of Law graduate was barred from coming into any courtroom services — together with her chambers — starting Sept. 27 at 5 p.m. when the state Unified Court System’s vaccine mandate went into impact for all staffers.

“Currently, there is only one state-paid judge statewide out of compliance with our vaccine mandate policies,” stated Unified Court System spokesman Lucian Chalfen.

Rivera is one among seven judges on the Court of Appeals, headed by Chief Judge Janet DiFiore. The panel meets in particular person about as soon as a month to listen to oral arguments in an Albany courthouse.

For the primary time this Tuesday, Rivera would be the sole jurist to tune into the session by way of video for the reason that courtroom resumed in-person periods in March.

“If it works for her and she can participate remotely, I don’t see the problem,” stated state Court of Appeals spokesman Gary Spencer, who declined to touch upon her vaccination standing. “ We do not discuss the personal health information of anyone — judges or staff.”

Rivera is one of seven judges on the Court of Appeals, which is led by Chief Judge Janet DiFiore.
Rivera is one among seven judges on the Court of Appeals, which is led by Chief Judge Janet DiFiore.
AP

The courtroom’s configuration was modified for the newest session in August as a result of Rivera’s resolution to not get the inoculation, a supply informed The Post.

She was positioned alone on the finish of an extended wood desk separated from the six vaxxed judges who had been perched on a raised bench behind her. Traditionally, 4 judges are seated on the raised bench and three on the wood desk.

Disgraced ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo appointed Rivera in 2013 for a 14-year time period. It wasn’t instantly clear why Rivera has refused the jab.

Over 85 p.c of the state’s 15,615 courtroom staffers have been vaccinated. About 1,000 workers utilized for medical or spiritual exemptions.

Exempt staffers can enter courtroom services with weekly damaging COVID-19 assessments.