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.”