Supreme Court justice won’t block Indiana University vaccine mandate

Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett on Thursday declined to block a plan by Indiana University to require students and employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Barrett’s action came in response to an emergency request from eight students, and it marked the first time the high court has weighed in on a vaccine mandate. Some corporations, states and cities have adopted vaccine requirements for workers or even to dine indoors, and others are considering doing so.

The students said in court papers that they have “a constitutional right to bodily integrity, autonomy, and of medical treatment choice in the context of a vaccination mandate.” They wanted the high court to issue an order barring the university from enforcing the mandate. Seven of the students qualify for a religious exemption.

College officials across the country have struggled with whether to require vaccinations, with some schools mandating them and others questioning whether they have legal authority to do so. Similar lawsuits against student vaccine requirements have been filed in other states.

The court’s newest justice rejected the plea without even asking the university for a response or getting her colleagues to weigh in. Justices often act on their own in such situations when the legal question isn’t particularly close. Barrett handles emergency matters from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, which includes Indiana.

A three-judge federal appeals court panel, including two judges appointed by former President Donald Trump, was one of two lower courts to side with Indiana University and allow it to require the vaccinations, even as legal proceedings continue. The plan announced in May requires roughly 90,000 students and 40,000 employees on seven campuses to receive COVID-19 vaccinations for the fall semester.

Students who don’t comply will have their registration canceled and workers who don’t will lose their jobs. The policy does have religious and medical exemptions, but exempt students must be tested twice a week for the disease. The school recently announced that for now, everyone, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a mask indoors while on campus.

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5 thoughts on “Supreme Court justice won’t block Indiana University vaccine mandate

    1. I thought you were going to have to pack the Supremes because they were going to run over all things liberal. I guess as long as their agreeing with you you’ll leave them alone.

    2. It’s all about picking/choosing their shots.

      “Justices often act on their own in such situations when the legal question isn’t particularly close. ”

      That’s some good lawyering, Jim Bopp.

    3. Jeff A. – your post is nonsense. First, you won’t find any previous posts from me where I advocated for packing the SCOTUS. I grant that some D’s said this, but it is certainly not the consensus. And give them time, this court WILL “run over” many liberal issues. I’m just pointing out that every once in a while, even the most conservative justices have some sense. Same thing with all the judges that shot down every last one of the FG’s attempts to overturn the election.

  1. — but exempt students must be tested twice a week for the disease —
    .
    Just as is the case with workers who have to be tested as an alternative to vaccination, can we assume they aren’t paying for their own tests? (because that’s just plain wrong)

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