Illinois judge strips mother of parental visitation rights for refusing COVID-19 vaccine

Cook County Judge James Shapiro revoked a mother’s right to visit her son after it was revealed that she had not been vaccinated against COVID-19, according to Fox 4 News.

Rebecca Firlit and her ex-husband were participating in a support hearing via video call on Aug. 10 to determine how shared custody would work between the couple. According to Fox, Firlit explained that she had not been vaccinated because of adverse reactions to other vaccinations, which didn’t stop the judge from denying her visitation rights.

Judge Shapiro’s decision to strip a mother of visitation rights for not being vaccinated sets a concerning precedent.

2nd class citizens

As the Washington Examiner noted, Firlit commented on the judge’s decision, saying, “I think that it’s wrong. I think that it’s dividing families. And I think it’s not in my son’s best interest to be away from his mother.”

Firlit’s attorney, Annette Fernholz, noted that the judge was injecting his personal views on the case. Fernholz said, “You have to understand the father did not even bring this issue before the court. So, it’s the judge on his own and making this decision that you can’t see your child until you’re vaccinated.”

This is a new level of judicial activism that should be universally condemned. Judges should not be allowed to tear families apart over ideological opinions.

This decision by Judge Shapiro further hammers home the fact that many Americans are willing to treat other Americans as second-class citizens over their vaccination status.

Many conservatives who warned that unvaccinated Americans would be treated as second-class citizens were slammed early on as paranoid conspiracy theorists.

Legal battle ahead

For Rebecca Firlit, her hopes lie in the hands of an appellate court. Firlit’s attorney explained that “The trial court clearly exceeded its authority in sua sponte suspending the mother’s parenting time when the issue before the court was child support. The judge deprived her of notice and a full hearing on the issue. The issue is now before the Illinois appellate court.”

The outcome of this case is something to keep an eye on as it will decide whether or not the COVID-19 vaccine is a requirement for parental visitation.

Republicans would be wise to highlight what Judge Shapiro is trying to do to an American family — a family with American rights. Our society is heading in a dangerous direction, and the judiciary needs to do its part to stop that movement.

This terrifying story is one of thousands that have popped up over the last year. It is long past time to address the worrying change that is happening in our culture.

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