New Jersey governor announces statewide mask mandate in schools
An attorney representing Indiana University students has asked the Supreme Court to block the school’s vaccination mandate that is expected to come into effect this fall, while the appeal process unfolds.
Friday’s filing marks the first time judges have been asked to rule on the matter, as private and public entities increasingly need vaccines following a new wave of the virus caused by the Delta variant.
The university requires that students be vaccinated unless they are eligible for exemptions. If exempt, they must wear masks and be tested twice a week.
“IU forces students to give up their rights to bodily integrity, autonomy and choice of medical treatment in exchange for the discretionary benefit of enrolling at IU,” said James Bopp, a student lawyer , to the Supreme Court in an emergency petition. ask the judges to act by August 13.
Bopp said the students’ refusal was “based on legitimate concerns, including the underlying medical conditions, the presence of natural antibodies and the risks associated with the vaccine.”
Lower courts have ruled against students, citing a 1905 Supreme Court ruling that ruled that a state can require smallpox vaccines.
A panel of judges from the 7th U.S. Court of Appeals, all appointed by Republicans, said vaccination requirements “are common in this country” and stressed that UI policies allow for exemptions for those with vaccine-related medical problems or religious objections. .
“These plaintiffs just need to wear a mask and be tested, requirements which are not constitutionally problematic,” the court ruled, adding that vaccination is a condition for attending university.
Those who do not want to be vaccinated can “go elsewhere”.
“A university will struggle to function when every student fears everyone is spreading disease,” the court said. “Not many people want to go back to distance education – and we don’t think the Constitution imposes the distance learning approach on a university that thinks vaccination (or masks and frequent testing of the unvaccinated) will make face-to-face operations sufficiently secure. “
The Supreme Court will likely ask the university for its answer.
Last week, IU spokesman Chuck Carney told CNN he “remains confident” it will eventually prevail due to a legitimate public health interest in keeping our students safe. , teachers and staff.