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.”