Indiana University Gets Green Light from Judge to Require Covid 19 Vaccine

Jessica Lynn

A federal judge ruled that Indiana University can require its students to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in the first ruling upholding a vaccine mandate by an educational institution.

Judge Damon R. Leichty of the District Court for Northern Indiana finds Indiana was reasonably pursuing legitimate public health aims in the first court decision considering the constitutionality of a college's COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

Hundreds of higher education institutions, including the state and city university systems in New York and California, have mandated vaccines for students in the fall.

The Judge Ruled with the University.

Students who don't get vaccinated and don't receive an exemption cannot go on campus or use university email accounts. Their access cards to campus will be deactivated, the judge wrote.

When the policy was announced in May, eight students sued the school, arguing the mandate infringes on their bodily autonomy and medical privacy.

But, no constitutional or legal right allows someone to send an unvaccinated child to school. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that schools can require vaccinations.

Students Also Sued Over Masks

The Indiana students also argued against mask requirements and Covid testing, but the judge also denied those requests, saying "there is no fundamental constitutional right to not wear a mask."

The judge's opinion read,

"They ask the court to enter a preliminary injunction — an extraordinary remedy that requires a strong showing that they will likely succeed on the merits of their claims, that they will sustain irreparable harm, and that the balance of harms and the public interest favor such a remedy...The court now denies their motion."

The judge also cited the 14 Ammendment when he wrote in his 101-page opinion,

"Recognizing the students' significant liberty to refuse unwanted medical treatment, the Fourteenth Amendment permits Indiana University to pursue a reasonable and due process of vaccination in the legitimate interest of public health for its students, faculty, and staff,"

The Indiana lawsuit could have broader implications for other schools.

The New York Times reports that James Bopp Jr., who represented the students, said they will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. He said America's Frontline Doctors — a conservative group that's protested several Covid-19 public health measures, including the vaccines — will cover the cost, according to the Times.

What do you think? School already requires a list of vaccinations if you want your child to attend school? Do you think institutions have a right to protect their students? Let us know in the comments.

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Writing on all things California and Texas. It unfolds here. Your daily dose of local news. From politics to food, from celebrity culture to current events. Follow me for the latest updates. Twitter: @girl_thriving

Los Angeles, CA

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