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.”