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Federal Judge Upholds Public University's Vaccine Requirement For Students

That “voluntary vaccine” is now mandatory.

A federal judge upheld Indiana University’s vaccination mandate.

IU is a public university with their policy stating that all students, faculty and staff must be vaccinated. The policy goes into effect for the fall semester.

Eight Indiana University students filed the lawsuit, arguing that the university’s policy violated the Fourteenth Amendment, which includes rights of personal autonomy and bodily integrity and the right to reject medical treatment, and Indiana’s recently passed “vaccine passport” law.

Judge Damon Leichty ruled:

"Eight students sued Indiana University because of its vaccination mandate and because of the extra requirements of masking, testing, and social distancing that apply to those who receive an exemption. They ask the court to enter a preliminary injunction—an extraordinary remedy that requires a strong showing that they will likely succeed on the merits of their claims, that they will sustain irreparable harm, and that the balance of harms and the public interest favor such a remedy.
The court now denies their motion. The Constitution and longstanding precedent should endure. Recognizing the students' significant liberty to refuse unwanted medical treatment, the Fourteenth Amendment permits Indiana University to pursue a reasonable and due process of vaccination in the legitimate interest of public health for its students, faculty, and staff. Today, on this preliminary record, the university has done so for its campus communities. The students haven't established a likelihood of success on the merits of their Fourteenth Amendment claim or the many requirements that must precede the extraordinary remedy of a preliminary injunction."

Fox 59 in Indianapolis reports:

"The policy has been embroiled in controversy since it was announced, with some Indiana lawmakers urging Gov. Eric Holcomb to rescind it. Attorney General Todd Rokita issued an opinion that the policy violated state law…
The university released a statement on the ruling:
"A ruling from the federal court has affirmed Indiana University’s COVID-19 vaccination plan designed for the health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff. We appreciate the quick and thorough ruling which allows us to focus on a full and safe return. We look forward to welcoming everyone to our campuses for the fall semester.”"

Lawyers representing the students vow to appear the ruling.

James Bopp, Jr of the Bopp Law Firm says ruling will be appealed:

“...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.
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.” 

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