Vaccination mandates for COVID-19 in both the private and public sectors are resulting in legal action across the country. However, “the highest court decision so far when it comes to college immunization mandates, a federal appeals court ruled Monday that Indiana University can proceed with its plan to require students and employees to get vaccinated…before returning to campus for the fall semester” reports Fox News.
Based in Chicago, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals denied a motion for an injunction to stop Indiana University’s policy. The Court upheld the Indiana district court judge’s ruling which found the University was acting reasonably “in pursuing public health and safety for its campus communities.”
In response to the court ruling, Indiana University issued a statement saying, “Once again, the court has affirmed our legitimate public health interest in assuring the safety of our students, faculty and staff and we are excited to welcome our community back for the fall semester.”
Eight students of the University brought the suit after University officials made the announcement in May that its roughly 90,000 students and 40,000 employees on its seven campuses needed to get vaccinated. “Students who don’t comply will have their registration canceled and workers who don’t will lose their jobs” reports Fox News.
The students claim the mandate violates their constitutional rights under the due process clause of the 14thAmendment by forcing them to get unwanted medical treatment. The lawyer for the plaintiffs said he would ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the rulings. Similar lawsuits at the University of Connecticut and the California State University system are awaiting action as well.
Fox News reports:
IU initially was going to require students and employees to provide immunization documentation. That sparked a backlash from Republican state lawmakers and the state attorney general, leading university officials to make providing proof of vaccination optional and allow students and employees to simply attest to their vaccination in an online form.
The university is allowing religious and medical exemptions, but school spokesman Chuck Carney said more than 80% of students have reported receiving at least one dose.