Michael Weinstock, a former volunteer firefighter who served on 9/11, was served with court papers on Shabbat, which is against the law in NY State, according to the NY Post.
Weinstock is running in the Democratic primary (as soon as they hold one – the June 23 date has been cancelled on account of the coronavirus) to represent New York’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes most of the North Shore of Long Island. His opponent, one Melanie D’Arrigo, challenged Weinstock’s signatures in court, and, like we said, he was served with the court papers on the Jewish day of rest.
In NY York State it is forbidden to serve court papers on Sunday, and observant Jews may not be served on Saturday. But Weinstock’s opponent’s attorney, Arthur Schwartz, last week told Albany Supreme Court Christina Ryba that the candidate is not a “super observant Jew,” and therefore is not entitled to be spared a Shabbos subpoena. The attorney claimed the whole thing was a “stunt.”
Which upset Michael Weinstock very much, and he told the judge: “I object! I’m plenty Jewish.”
Schwartz also argued that the candidate hadn’t really been served – the UPS man put the enveloped with the court papers at his door and it was Weinstock who chose to pick it up and bring it into his house on Shabbat. So Weinstock said he was well within Jewish law when he took the envelope inside as long as he didn’t open it – which could be a problem in terms of the prohibition on doing weekday things on Shabbat even if they don’t constitute actual labor.
Judge Ryba finally dismissed the suit not on the grounds that it violated Weinstock’s religious rights, but on the grounds that it violated the calendar – the deadline for delivering the challenge to the candidate’s signatures was on Friday.