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.”

Fort Wayne, Indiana – On Monday, several Indiana University students filed a federal lawsuit against IU challenging its draconian COVID Vaccine Mandate.

The lawsuit alleges that IU has violated both the students’ constitutional rights as well as Indiana’s Vaccine Passport Law. IU’s Mandate requires every student to take the COVID vaccine. If a student refuses to do so, the student will suffer “strong consequences,” including canceled class registration, terminated student ID, and restrictions from participation in any on campus activity. These consequences amount to virtual expulsion from IU if a student refuses to get the COVID vaccine.

IU does offer “extremely limited” exemptions from its Mandate, which only include a religious exemption, a documented allergy to the vaccine, medical deferrals, and an online student exemption for students in completely online courses with no on-campus presence. IU’s Mandate does not include an exemption for those with a natural immunity to COVID, including those who have previously been infected by COVID and fully recovered or for many medical contra-indications. Nor does IU allow for a medical exemption for those whose own doctor has recommended that the student not take the vaccine due to underlying health concerns (like Lyme disease), unless that health concern falls within a very limited list of conditions.

All three COVID vaccines in use in the U.S. have received “Emergency Use Authorization” by the FDA. When a drug receives EUA, the FDA requires those taking the drug to be informed of both the benefits and the risks of the drug and that taking the drug is optional. These FDA requirements are consistent with modern medical ethics that require voluntary and informed consent for medical treatment, even if receiving the treatment can benefit others. The importance of an individual’s bodily integrity and personal autonomy are protected by these important principles.

IU, however, is not seeking voluntary consent from its students to take the COVID vaccination—it is coercing its students under threat of virtual expulsion to take a vaccine even though the risks associated with the vaccine, especially for college-age students, are serious and increasingly recognized, and students are at an extremely low risk of adverse effects if they get a COVID infection.

Increasingly, the medical community is acknowledging the risks and side effects of COVID vaccines including myocarditis, Bell’s Palsy, Pulmonary Embolus, Pulmonary Immunopathology, and severe allergic reaction causing anaphylactic shock. These emerging risks are especially prevalent for those 18-29 years old.

IU’s Mandate, however, does not take balance of risks and benefits to IU students. College-age students have an extremely low risk of death or even of requiring hospitalization due to a COVID infection. In fact, only one IU student was hospitalized due to COVID and no IU student died from COVID since the beginning of the pandemic. The risk of an IU student dying from COVID is far less than the risk of an IU student dying from any number of other causes, including homicide, car accidents, suicide, and poisoning. And the risk of a COVID infection to others in the general population, who are not required to be vaccination, exceeds the risk to college aged student by up to almost 1,000 times.

The lawsuit also claims, as Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita recently stated, that IU’s Mandate also violates Indiana’s Vaccine Passport Law, which prohibits the state from requiring proof of COVID immunization status and prohibits the state from penalizing those who refuse to provide such proof. IU requires that all students who choose to take the vaccine to certify that they have taken the COVID vaccine and to certify the dates that they received the vaccine doses. If they do not provide such proof, they will be subject to virtual expulsion from IU, which is the type of requirement and penalty the Vaccine Passport Law seeks to prevent.

“IU’s Mandate violates the constitutional rights of IU’s students—it requires all IU students without any meaningful exemptions to take the COVID vaccine,” said James Bopp, Jr., lead counsel in the lawsuit. “In fact, no other government entity, not the FDA, not the CDC, not the State of Indiana, not any county government, and not any other Indiana public university, requires a COVID vaccination.”

“Ironically,” said Bopp, “IU has imposed such a draconian measure at the very time that COVID is being brought under control. All other federal, state and local governments are lifting their restrictions, while IU is suddenly imposing the most severe requirement of all, mandatory vaccination, that, even at the height of the pandemic, no government authority, including IU, imposed.”

“Finally,” Bopp commented, “IU’s Mandate does not take into account that virtually everyone on IU’s campus, whether professors, staff, or students, can take the vaccine to protect themselves, and wear masks and social distance, if they want to. Thus, IU allows for one and only one option for IU students who do not qualify for its limited exemptions—take the vaccine or be virtually expelled from IU. This kind of total disregard for student freedom to choose for themselves, for student’s bodily autonomy, and for the need for voluntary and informed consent cannot stand under the U.S. Constitution.”

The complaint and related Preliminary Injunction Memorandum is available on The Bopp Law Firm, PC’s website here.

In a letter to The IU Family for Choice, not Mandates, read at a rally at IU Bloomington today, The Bopp Law Firm has advised students that the IU COVID-19 vaccination mandate is unconstitutional and that the law firm is considering litigation.

The letter reads as follows:

To Leadership of The IU Family for Choice, not Mandates,

You have retained The Bopp Law Firm to determine whether the IU COVID vaccination mandate violates the rights of students attending Indiana University this fall.

We have completed our preliminary research and believe that the constitutional rights of IU students are violated by this draconian and unwarranted policy.

Indiana University is a public university. As a government institution, it is subject to the restraints of the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendments which together protect the freedom and liberty of students against unwarranted restrictions on that freedom.

Of course, a key part of a person’s freedom and liberty is one’s bodily integrity. As a result, the government cannot force a person to take a drug, which the person does not consent to, absent compelling justifications.

It is now obvious that there is no compelling need to require college students to be forced to be vaccinated for COVID-19. First, medical experts have found that students in this age group have a very low risk of adverse effects from a COVID-19 infection. Those potential adverse effects are very rare and, in fact, are dwarfed by the risk of injury, and even death, from many, much more common, causes, such as alcohol and drug use, automobiles use and suicide. And the risks associated with COVID-19 are rapidly decreasing.

Second, the COVID vaccination has its own risks that are increasingly becoming known.

Thus, it is perfectly rational for students to decide for themselves if the benefits of a COVID-19 vaccination is worth the risks.

And finally, any student who feels the need to be protected against a COVID-19 infection just needs to get vaccinated, which is readily available.

Furthermore, the two exceptions to the vaccination mandate are themselves totally inadequate and unconstitutional. First, for those students who obtain a religious exemption, they are still subject to draconian restrictions and limitations including twice weekly testing, for which there is no corresponding religious exemption. This violates the First Amendment.

Second, the medical exemption is not available at all for those students who have already been infected with COVID-19 and are now immune. And medical studies are now showing that the immunity obtained by having been infected with COVID-19 is just as effective as a vaccination.

As a result, we believe that the constitutional rights of the following students are violated by the IU COVID-19 mandate and they have a constitutional law suit against IU that we are considering bringing:

(1) any current IU student who objects to the vaccination mandate but does not qualify for, or declines to seek, either of the exemptions.

(2) any current IU student who has filed for a religious exemption but has been denied.

(3) any current IU student who has been granted a religious exemption but has a religious objection to either the mask or frequent testing required for those with a religious exemption, and

(4) any current IU student who has had a COVID-19 infection and objects to being required to also be vaccinated.

Any student, who think their rights are violated and fall within any of these four categories, can contact The Bopp Law Firm through the link on the website of The IU Family for Choice, not Mandates., or can email me at news@bopplaw.com

Yesterday, The Bopp Law Firm, on behalf of The IU Family for Choice, not Mandates, Inc., filed a public records requests with IU regarding the IU COVID-19 mandate. This is the second one with Indiana University asking for statistical information about IU student infection rates and outcomes for COVID-19 infections and for statistical information about any disease, injury or condition suffered by an IU student and the medical treatment and outcome.

Today, The Bopp Law Firm filed a second one with the Indiana State Department of Health for health statistics for IU students that Indiana University has to file with the state each year.

The requests come after The Bopp Law Firm filed an initial public records request with Indiana University to determine how IU came to the decision to mandate vaccines and how they plan to implement their plan. These two additional requests seek to determine just how much COVID-19 impacts students when stacked up against other health issues for college students such as binge drinking, suicide, automobile accidents, socially transmitted diseases, and any other causes.

In addition, every year by March 15, all state educational institutions must submit to the Indiana Department of Health, and the local health department in the same area, an Annual Summary Report. This Report includes data pertaining to the number of students who have authenticated certificates of immunity for each disease the school requires a vaccination for. The reports also contain the number of students who have documented exemptions from vaccinations, categorized by disease.

The Bopp Law Firm filed these two additional requests with IU and the Indiana Department of Health to further determine if IU’s controversial vaccination mandate is justified in light of all the other health issues affecting college students.

James Bopp, Jr., states, “Our Constitution has made it clear that our government cannot limit a person’s freedoms without sufficient justification. IU’s mandate limits a student’s freedom to choose, demanding administration of an experimental drug or being barred from admission. And, even if a student gets an exemption, IU imposes severe restrictions on that student, including a mask mandate, frequent testing, and limits on leaving their home and on attending activities. These record requests are designed to obtain the information necessary to evaluate whether these substantial burdens on students are justified.”

To view the public records request filed with the Indiana State Department of Health click here.

Today, The Bopp Law Firm, on behalf of The IU Family for Choice, not Mandates, filed a public records request with Indiana University to learn how and why IU came to the decision to require all faculty, staff, and students to receive a COVID-19 vaccine before the fall 2021 semester begins. This request for official documents will allow Hoosiers to get a clear picture of how the IU administration decided and will implement a vaccine mandate for all of their campuses.

On May 21, 2021 IU sent out an email to all faculty, staff, and students announcing that all of them will be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccine by August 15 or upon return to any IU campus after August 1, whichever happens to be later. Any employee of IU who refuses to take the vaccine will be terminated, there are no exemptions to this policy. The mandate gives a few stringent exemptions to students who can refuse the vaccine only on legally protected religious grounds or if they have a documented medical exemption. Those who have already been infected with the COVID-19 virus are not exempt, even though they are now naturally immune to the virus.

Any student who chooses to refuse the vaccine under either the religious or medical exemption will be subject to “class registration cancelled, CrimsonCard access terminated, access to IU systems (Canvas, email, etc.) terminated, and [they] will not be allowed to participate in any on campus activity.”

Essentially, this is a different standard of treatment for students who choose not to take the COVID-19 vaccine. In doing so, IU is discriminating against students’ religious beliefs in a thinly-veiled violation of a person’s First Amendment right to freedom of religion. Indiana University is a public university and is barred by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights from discriminating on the basis of religion.

James Bopp, Jr. of The Bopp Law Firm, P.C. and counsel for The IU Family for Choice, not Mandates, stated that it is “completely unconstitutional for any governmental body to inquire into anyone’s religious beliefs . . . . The only thing the government can do when someone asserts a religious belief is to honor it. They don’t have a choice. It’s unconstitutional for the government to judge whether or not a particular religious belief is suitable, appropriate, quote legitimate unquote.”*

Furthermore, the public records will allow The Bopp Law Firm to evaluate whether the vaccination mandate is justified. Currently, the rate of survival for those infected with COVID-19 is 99.8% globally and 99.97% under age 70.** IU is therefore treating its students much more harshly than the general public, even though students have a very low risk of death from COVID-19 infection and one much lower that the general public. The public records will help The Bopp Law Firm evaluate if this harsh treatment is justified.

Furthermore, there are known risks with taking the COVID-19 vaccinations that need to be balanced with the risks of COVID-19 infections to students. The public records will help The Bopp Law Firm evaluate whether these risks were adequately taken into account.

IU’s mandate has already drawn criticism from state officials such as Indiana’s Attorney General Todd Rokita. Attorney General Rokita noted that IU’s mandate is in violation of a new law that bans vaccine passports and similar proof of vaccination requirements. This mandate “unquestionably violates the new law by requiring its students, faculty, and staff to show proof of immunization as a condition of continued attendance or employment,” said Rokita in an official opinion requested by two state legislators.***

View the public records request here.

View the IU mandate email to students here

*https://www.thecentersquare.com/indiana/ag-iu-s-vaccine-mandate-unquestionably-viola%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20tes-state-law/article_18e08942-be76-11eb-adfa-0fb0e73d771d.html

**https://www.americasfrontlinedoctors.org/frontline-news/americas-frontline-doctors-files-motion-for-temporary-restraining-order-against-use-of-covid-vaccine-in-children

***https://www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/files/Official-Opinion-2021-1.pdf

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