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.”