A judge in Illinois ordered that a child be removed from the custody of his divorced mother because she had not received the COVID-19 virus.
In a surprising turn of events, however, Judge James Shapiro announced without explanation that he had changed his mind.
“I’m going to see my son right now”
Now, Rebecca Firlit is celebrating the fact that she can reclaim custody of her 11-year-old son.
In a brief ruling on Monday, Shapiro wrote that his previous order granting custody to the child’s vaccinated father had been revoked. Although she is pleased with the decision, Firlit said she anticipates a continued legal battle.
“I’m extremely happy, I’m going to see my son right now,” she said. “I know that they are going to say that I’m an endangerment to my son. This isn’t over for me.”
An attorney representing her ex-husband, Matthew Duiven, called the reversal “unfortunate” and vowed to fight it in court.
Prior to the initial order, the mother and father shared custody of the child. Reports indicate it was Shapiro, not Duiven, who brought up the topic of vaccination during a remote hearing via Zoom.
“That speaks a lot to their intelligence level”
For her part, Firlit said she was advised by a doctor against receiving the vaccination based on a history of adverse reactions. She asked the judge why he reached his first decision and he effectively dismissed her concerns.
“I am the judge, and I make the decisions for your case,” Shapiro responded.
Firlit’s case is not the only such example. In fact, judges across the United States have handed down similarly tough rulings in an attempt to mandate vaccines in certain situations.
Furthermore, it does not appear to be the first time Shapiro took a harsh tone with unvaccinated defendants. Edward Hambrick appeared before the judge recently and was told it is “not a choice” but “an obligation” to receive the jab.
He also reportedly engaged in a rant against health care professionals who opt against the vaccine, declaring: “That speaks a lot to their intelligence level and I would not want to be treated by a nurse who refused to get vaccinated.”