Students’ plea to block Indiana U. vaccine mandate rejected by Justice Barrett

Closeup of a person being getting a vaccination shot in the shoulder.

Enlarge / A healthcare worker receives a Pfizer-BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine at Jackson Memorial Hospital on December 15, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (credit: Getty Images | Joe Raedle )

Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett yesterday rejected a request to block Indiana University's requirement that students be vaccinated against COVID-19.

"The case, Klaassen v. Trustees of Indiana University, was the first test of COVID-19 vaccine requirements to arrive at the Supreme Court," SCOTUSblog wrote. "The rule at the center of the case, announced in May by the university, requires all faculty, students, and staff to be vaccinated unless they qualify for a medical or religious exemption. Eight students went to federal court to challenge the constitutionality of the mandate, but on July 18 a federal district judge in Indiana rejected their request to block the mandate, and the US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit declined to put the mandate on hold while the litigation continues."

Students challenging the mandate asked for an emergency injunction that would block it, but the docket says that the application was "denied by Justice Barrett." Students claimed they have "a constitutional right to bodily integrity, autonomy, and of medical treatment choice in the context of a vaccination mandate" and that the university "is treating its students as children who cannot be trusted to make mature decisions." Barrett "rejected the plea without even asking the university for a response or getting her colleagues to weigh in," the Associated Press wrote.

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