Chicago, Illinois – The eight students who have sued Indiana University over its COVID vaccination mandate filed their opening brief with the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals last week. The students argued the district court was wrong to deny their motion for preliminary injunction.

In May this year, IU announced it will be requiring all students, faculty, and staff to receive COVID vaccinations before they can return to IU for the fall semester with stringent and limited exemptions for those with religious or medical exemptions. Even if a student is granted an exemption they are still subject to rigorous extra requirements, regardless of why they received an exemption, including masking, regular testing and possible quarantining. In June, The Bopp Law Firm, on behalf of IU students, filed a federal lawsuit against IU to preserve students’ rights to bodily integrity and autonomy, and of medical treatment choice.

Students filed a motion for preliminary injunction, which was denied by the district court on July 18th. Students then appealed to the Seventh Circuit. On August 27th, IU moved to dismiss the appeal, because they claimed that the students now lacked standing to sue since class at IU had started, which the Seventh Circuit subsequently denied. With today’s filing, the constitutional challenge against IU’s Mandate continues.

The students argue that the district court erroneously denied the injunction, because it reviewed the Mandate under the rational basis standard of review, that gives great deference to IU’s decision, which is employed when no constitutional rights are infringed. The district court based its decisions upon a 1905 U.S. Supreme Court decision, before the recognition of robust protection to bodily integrity and autonomy and medical treatment choice. The student urge the appellate court to recognize the changes in constitutional law that has occurred since then and impose the burden of proof on IU to demonstrate that their Mandate is justified and necessary to advance an important governmental interest.

“Continuing our fight against this unconstitutional mandate is necessary to guarantee that IU students receive the fair due process they’re owed by a public university,” states James Bopp, Jr., lead counsel in the lawsuit. “However, IU students are free adults are entitled to make their own medical treatment decisions. Under the proper review, IU cannot meet its burden of proof that it properly balanced the risks (both known and unknown) of the COVID vaccine to college-age students against the risks of COVID itself for college-aged students in issuing its Mandate. IU is a government actor and cannot infringe upon the students’ fundamental rights without a compelling justification, which does not exist now for college-aged students.”

Read Students’ Opening Brief here.

Chicago, Illinois – On Friday, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals denied Indiana University’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit challenging its COVID vaccination mandate for students, so the appellate court will hear the Student’s challenge on the merits.

In May this year, IU announced it will be requiring all students, faculty, and staff to receive COVID vaccinations before they can return to IU for the fall semester with stringent and limited exemptions to the Mandate for those with religious or medical exemptions. Even if a student is granted an exemption they are still subject to rigorous extra requirements, regardless of why they received an exemption, including masking, regular testing and possible quarantining. In June, The Bopp Law Firm, on behalf of IU students, filed a federal lawsuit against IU to preserve students’ rights to bodily integrity and autonomy, and of medical treatment choice.

Students filed a motion for preliminary injunction, which was denied by the district court on July 18th. Students then appealed to the Seventh Circuit. On August 27th, IU moved to dismiss the appeal.

In its motion to dismiss, IU argued that, since school has already begun and the Students challenging its mandate had received exemptions or “withdrawn” from IU, they no longer had standing to bring the case and, as a result, the case was moot and should be dismissed.

The Students opposed IU’s motion, pointing out that even the exempted students still had to comply with parts of IU’s Mandate that unvaccinated students do not, and that this type of case could not be fully resolved in the limited amount of time between IU’s Mandate announcement and the start of the fall semester. In addition, the two students IU claimed had “withdrawn” had actually deferred their attendance at IU pending the resolution of this case. The Seventh Circuit denied IU’s motion to dismiss, which means it agrees the students have standing and the issues before the appellate court are not moot.

“Today’s ruling allows this fight to continue for the Students and that they will have their constitutional claims decided on the merits” states James Bopp, Jr., of The Bopp Law Firm, lead counsel in the lawsuit. “IU claims plenary authority to require students to do anything IU feels necessary for health and safety of its students, no matter what fundamental constitutional rights of the student are violated, similar to how inmates in a prison are treated. However, IU students are not convicted and incarcerated prisoners, but are adults entitled to make their own medical treatment decisions. Thus, IU’s Mandate is unconstitutional and we look forward to proving that in court. Government actors, from a local official to the President of the United States, need to remember that, under the Constitution their power is limited. The Constitution rests on the foundation that we don’t receive our rights from the government—it prevents the government from infringing on those rights without a compelling justification, which does not exist now for college-aged students.”

Friends, The Bopp Law Firm has filed an appeal today in the United States Supreme Court in order to enjoin IU’s COVID Vaccination Mandate for all students.

This appeal has gotten significant attention, with USA Today calling our case “one of the most compelling involving COVID-19 to reach the Supreme Court.”

Indiana University students ask Supreme Court to block vaccine order.

We expect an opinion next week.

I have spoken about the IU Mandate case here.

I hope this helps you understand what we are doing.

Jim

Today, Indiana University Students, represented by The Bopp Law Firm, asked the U.S. Supreme Court to prevent IU from enforcing its COVID Vaccination Mandate while their appeal is pending.

In May, IU announced it will be requiring all students, faculty, and staff to receive COVID vaccinations before they can return to IU for the fall semester with stringent and limited exemptions to the Mandate for those with religious or medical exemptions. Even if a student is granted an exemption they are still subject to rigorous extra-requirements, regardless of why they received an exemption. In June, The Bopp Law Firm, on behalf of IU students, filed a lawsuit against IU to preserve students’ rights to bodily integrity and autonomy and the right to consent to medical treatment.

Both the district court and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals denied Students request for an injunction, based upon a standard of review that gives great deference to IU’s decision. Both courts based their decisions upon precedent that is over a century old. Since 1905, the U.S. Supreme Court has handed down many cases which supports Students’ claim that their constitutional rights have been violated by IU’s Mandate, and that IU has the burden to prove its Mandate passes constitutional muster.

“Continuing our fight against this unconstitutional mandate is necessary to guarantee that IU students receive the fair due process they’re owed by a public university,” states James Bopp, Jr., lead counsel in the lawsuit. “An admitted IU student’s right to attend IU cannot be conditioned on the student waiving their rights to bodily integrity and autonomy and to consent to medical treatment like IU has done here. Both the district court and the court of appeals applied the wrong law to Students’ claims—mental patients who have objected to antipsychotic drugs have received greater consideration from the courts than have the Students here. Under the proper review, IU cannot meet its burden of proof that it properly balanced the risks (both known and unknown) of the COVID vaccine to college-age students against the risks of COVID itself for college-aged students before issuing its Mandate.”

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The National Right to Life Committee (“NRLC”) and Louisiana Right to Life (“LARTL”) have filed a brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse course in a direction that will allow more abortion regulation and lead to reversing Roe v. Wade. They have asked the Court to provide a new roadmap, mandating that normal legal rules must be applied in abortion cases and state interests must be given full effect.

The case is Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, involving Mississippi’s ban (with exceptions) on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The lower courts said that under the Supreme Court decision in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey (1992), no ban is permitted before viability (when babies can live outside the womb). The only Supreme Court issue is “[w]hether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional?”

As the NRLC and LARTL brief noted, abortion law is currently in confusion, with lower courts unsure of what the law actually is. The Court tried to fix the “jurisprudence of doubt” in its 1992 Casey decision by revising the test imposed by Roe in favor of a new “undue burden” test. But in later cases, new Court majorities applied a stricter test, and the multiple opinions in the last one (June Medical Services v. Russo) left lower courts confused as to what the test is. So, a new roadmap is required, the brief noted.

The brief showed how, since Roe, the Court has bent normal rules to make Roe’s abortion right more absolute, which the new roadmap should reject. And courts have failed to give full effect to state interests, for example, in Dobbs, the trial court didn’t even allow the State to put on evidence in defense of its law. These interests include protecting preborn human life (including from pain), protecting maternal health, guarding against harm to the integrity of the medical profession, protecting civil society, protecting against sex-, race-, and disability-discrimination, and other vital interests. Requiring normal rules and giving full effect to state interests will reverse the course Roe set in abandoning normal law and eventually put Roe itself at issue.

James Bopp, Jr., of The Bopp Law Firm and NRLC’s General Counsel says: “Since Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court has twisted the normal rules of law to protect an absolute abortion right and not given full effect to powerful state interests such as protecting preborn life and maternal health. Today, we ask the Court to reverse that tangential path, which will allow greater regulation of abortion, lead to stability in the law, and put Roe itself at issue.”

The U.S. Supreme Court docket for Dobbs is here, and the NRLC and LARTL brief is here.

Founded in 1968, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of affiliates in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia and more than 3,000 local chapters, is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization. Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement, National Right to Life works through legislation and education to protect innocent human life from abortion, infanticide, assisted suicide and euthanasia.

Today, Indiana University Students, represented by America’s Frontline Doctors and The Bopp Law Firm, asked the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit to prevent Indiana University from enforcing its COVID Vaccination Mandate while their appeal is pending.

In May of this year, IU announced it will be requiring all students, faculty, and staff to receive COVID vaccinations before they can return to IU for the fall semester with stringent and limited exemptions to the Mandate for those with religious or medical exemptions. Even if a student is granted an exemption they are still subject to rigorous extra requirements regardless of the basis of the exemption. In June, The Bopp Law Firm, on behalf of IU students, filed a lawsuit against IU to preserve students’ rights to bodily integrity and autonomy, due process, and the right to consent to medical treatment.

In continuing their fight, Students have asked the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit to correctly identify as fundamental their rights to bodily integrity and bodily autonomy—which would require IU to meet a high bar in providing sufficient justification for its Mandate. Students believe that IU cannot meet this high bar. While IU may have had a compelling interest at the beginning of the pandemic, evidence suggests that is no longer the case. COVID cases and deaths associated with COVID are down significantly since the height of the pandemic, and the risk of serious morbidity and mortality from COVID for those in Students’ age group was already close to zero. Students are confident that if the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit properly employs this high standard, their claims will succeed.

“Our Constitution has made it clear that IU, as a government institution, cannot limit an individual’s freedoms without sufficient justification,” said James Bopp, Jr., of The Bopp Law Firm, Director of Litigation for America’s Frontline Doctors, and lead counsel in the lawsuit. Unfortunately, IU has chosen to ignore these constitutional principles and impose a Mandate that violates students’ rights without sufficient justification. This cannot stand. In order to protect students, we have asked the Court of Appeals to prevent IU from enforcing its Mandate.”

South Bend, Indiana – Today, Indiana University Students, represented by America’s Frontline Doctors and The Bopp Law Firm, appealed a federal judge’s ruling which refused to put Indiana University’s COVID Vaccination Mandate on hold until the end of the lawsuit. The Students also asked that the district court prevent Indiana University from enforcing its COVID Vaccination Mandate while the appeal is pending.

In May of this year, IU announced it will be requiring all students, faculty, and staff to receive COVID vaccinations before they can return to IU for the fall semester with stringent and limited exemptions to the Mandate for those with religious or medical exemptions. Even if a student is granted an exemption they are still subject to rigorous extra requirements, regardless of why they received an exemption. In June, The Bopp Law Firm, on behalf of IU students, filed a lawsuit against IU to preserve students’ rights to bodily integrity and autonomy, due process, and the right to consent to medical treatment.

The federal district court found that Students constitutional rights were at issue, but failed to acknowledge that these rights were fundamental. Students believe that their right to bodily integrity and bodily autonomy are so fundamental that IU should have to meet a high bar, justifying why such extreme measures are necessary, something IU has not done. If this high standard is employed—which Students have asked the district court to do and will ask the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit to do—Students are confident that their claims will succeed.

“We are committed to continuing the students’ fight,” said James Bopp, Jr., of The Bopp Law Firm, Director of Litigation for America’s Frontline Doctors, and lead counsel in the lawsuit. “In addition to appealing, we have asked the district judge to prevent IU from enforcing its Mandate while the appeal is pending. Preventing enforcement of this Mandate and continuing to fight is the only way to protect these students and guarantee that their fundamental constitutional rights are not violated.”

South Bend, Indiana – Today, a federal judge refused to put Indiana University’s COVID vaccination mandate for students on hold until the end of the lawsuit in which eight IU students represented by America’s Frontline Doctors and The Bopp Law Firm challenged IU’s COVID Vaccination Mandate.

In May of this year, IU announced it will be requiring all students, faculty, and staff to receive COVID vaccinations before they can return to IU for the fall semester with stringent and limited exemptions to the Mandate for those with religious or medical exemptions. Even if a student is granted an exemption they are still subject to rigorous extra-requirements, regardless of why they received an exemption. In June, The Bopp Law Firm, on behalf of IU students, filed a lawsuit against IU to preserve students’ rights to bodily autonomy, due process, an education free from unnecessary restrictions, and the right to consent to medical treatment.

“Today’s ruling does not end the students’ fight—we plan to immediately appeal the judge’s decision,” states James Bopp, Jr., Director of Litigation for America’s Frontline Doctors, and lead counsel in the lawsuit. “In addition, we plan on asking the judge to put a hold on IU’s Mandate pending that appeal. We are confident the court of appeals will agree that the Mandate should be put on hold.”

“Continuing our fight against this unconstitutional mandate is necessary to guarantee that IU students receive the fair due process they’re owed by a public university,” said Bopp. “An admitted IU student’s right to attend IU cannot be conditioned on the student waiving their rights to bodily integrity, bodily autonomy, and consent to medical treatment like IU has done here. IU’s Mandate did not properly balance the risks (both known and unknown) of the COVID vaccine to college-age students against the risks of COVID itself to that population and that college-aged students have a very low risk of adverse effects from a COVID infection. Furthermore, IU did not adequately consider the waning stage of the COVID pandemic before issuing its Mandate.”

Dr. Simone Gold, founder of America’s Frontline Doctors, said: “We are troubled to see the Court show any hesitation in their resolve to recognize and protect each person’s sovereignty over their own body. Voluntary consent to receiving medications is black letter law since World War II. America’s Frontline Doctors will relentlessly pursue equal justice for all students and all people according to the rule of law.”

Dr. Gold continued, “In a time when information is spread faster and farther than any previous point in history, it is critical that those in positions of authority are thorough and factual in their consideration of the data relevant to the policies they seek to implement. No fact could be more relevant to the issue of student vaccine mandates than the statistically near zero risk to the students themselves. Any mandate or coercion to take a new drug that lacks long-term safety data is unreasonable and unethical.”

South Bend, Indiana – Tomorrow, July 13, 2021, eight Indiana University (IU) students represented by The Bopp Law Firm will appear in federal court to challenge IU’s Vaccination Mandate.

In May this year, IU announced it will be requiring all students, faculty, and staff to receive COVID vaccinations before they can return to IU for the fall semester with stringent and limited exemptions to the Mandate for those with religious or medical exemptions. Even if a student is granted an exemption they are still subject to rigorous extra-requirements, regardless of why they received an exemption. In June, The Bopp Law Firm, on behalf of IU students, filed a lawsuit against IU to preserve students’ rights to bodily autonomy, due process, an education free from unnecessary restrictions, and the right to consent to medical treatment.

Tomorrow those students will be in court, represented by James Bopp, Jr., asking a federal judge to put the Mandate on hold until the end of the lawsuit.

“Tomorrow’s arguments are critical to defending our students’ right to education,” states James Bopp, Jr., lead counsel in the lawsuit. “Challenging this unconstitutional mandate is necessary to guarantee that IU students receive the fair due process they’re owed by a public university. A person’s right to an education cannot be conditioned on the student waiving their rights to bodily integrity and consent to medical treatment like IU has. IU is claiming that the COVID pandemic is requiring students to be forced to be vaccinated. Students however are at an extremely low risk of adverse reaction to a COVID infection. The vaccines they are required to take can endanger their health and life.”

“Furthermore,” said Bopp, “ we are toward the end of the pandemic when everyone else is lifting restrictions. Inexplicably, IU has decided to go the opposite direction and impose such a severe requirement. Neither the CDC nor the FDA recommend vaccination mandates. No state or local government in the United States is mandating vaccines. IU’s requirement is unreasonable, even irrational, and way out of the main stream.”

A ruling by the court is expected within two weeks.

Indiana University is taking a trick from its storied basketball program—running out the clock– in an effort to keep the public and the federal courts in the dark about why IU mandated COVID vaccinations for all IU students or face virtual expulsion from the school. IU also does not want the public and the federal courts to know how COVID infections and vaccinations have affected IU students.

Eight IU students filed suit in federal court in Ft. Wayne on Monday challenging IU’s Mandate. The students are seeking a temporary injunction to stop the mandate from going into effect. In addition, they have asked for IU to make public documents, which IU has so far kept secret, that reveal the reasons why IU mandated COVID vaccinations for all IU students, and how COVID infections and vaccinations have affected them.

When IU announced their Mandate, they did not release any of these documents. Then, almost a month ago, The Bopp Law Firm submitted a public records request to IU asking for these same documents and so far no documents have been released. And now, IU is fighting in federal court to continue to keep these documents secret. The IU students argue that the federal court needs to know why IU imposed its vaccination mandate in order to determine if it is justified under the United States Constitution.

IU, however, filed its objection to this request in federal court yesterday. IU’s opposition states that it should not have to disclose any of its secret documents until after the court hearing and that the hearing itself should be delayed. If the court sides with IU’s delaying tactics, it is likely that the court would not be able to render a decision on Plaintiffs’ constitutional claims until after school starts, forcing students to suffer the consequences of their refusal to obey IU’s draconian measures.

“IU has essentially given IU students a ‘non-choice’—decide to comply with the Mandate by August 15th or be virtually expelled from school,” states James Bopp, Jr., lead counsel for the Plaintiffs. “IU’s delay tactics are consistent with the harsh stance IU has taken on the mandate itself. IU isn’t giving students a voluntary choice on consenting to medical treatment and to protect their bodily integrity, rights all adults have. This delay will mean that IU students forfeit their constitutional rights before they can be heard in court.”

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