WASHINGTON (AP/WRTV) — Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett has refused to block a plan by Indiana University to require students and employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Barrett’s action Thursday comes in response to an emergency request from eight students, and it marks the first time the high court has weighed in on a vaccine mandate.
Last month, a federal appeals court ruled that Indiana University could proceed with its plan.
The policy does have religious and medical exemptions, but exempt students must wear masks and be tested once a week.
James Bopp, the attorney representing the IU students, released the following statement Thursday:
"We are disappointed that Justice Barrett refused to intervene and protect IU student's rights.
At least pending our appeal, IU can continue to give IU students only those few rights that are afforded to convicted felons incarcerated in prison, which is what the courts have so far empowered IU to do and which is the plenary power over students that IU claims.
But IU students are adults entitled to make medical treatment decisions for themselves, unless IU can prove in court that their COVID vaccine mandate is justified, which they have not done and that the courts have not required them to do.
Our appeal of the denial of the preliminary injunction is not effected by this ruling on the request for an emergency injunction and will continue.
The fight is not over for a long shot.