Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barret, last week Thursday, denied the request made by Indiana University students to block the vaccine mandate. Her decision came after lower courts ruled against the request, citing the 1905 Supreme Court decision that let states require smallpox vaccines and noting that vaccination requirements have been common in the US.
The vaccine mandate required that all Indiana University students and staff be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to attend in person lecture or even return on campus. Students were expected to be vaccinated before returning for the August 23 session.
The eight students filed a request for emergency relief and based their augment on “their right to body integrity, autonomy, and of medical treatment choice with regard to the vaccine mandate.” According to these students, the risks associated with getting the vaccine as young adults “outweigh the risks to that population from the disease itself.
The vaccine mandate in the Indiana University isn’t the first of its kind. The Pentagon recently put a vaccine mandate for all active-duty military members. Additionally, the California Governor, Gavin Newson announced on Wednesday last week that teachers and school staff were either to accept full vaccination against COVID-19 or alternatively agree to a regular COVID-19 screening.
The judgement to reject the student’s request made by Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barret was made without any consultation with other justices. She did so because the student’s request to bar the mandate had little legal justification. She, however, did not provide any explanation. Her denial of the request does, however, mark a precedence of being the first time that justices of the supreme court have weighed on the COVID-19 mandate.
Barret’s decision on Thursday allowed the university to enforce its vaccine mandate. The University of Indiana does have a limited provision of religious and political exemption, of which seven of the eight students qualify for.