Judge Refuses to Block Indiana University’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement
19 July 2021
A federal judge has denied a request to block Indiana University’s (IU) COVID-19 vaccine mandate after a group of students sued the school, claiming the inoculation requirement is unconstitutional.
Judge Damon R. Leichty denied eight students' request for a preliminary injunction motion in a decision filed on July 18.
Carney released the following 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.
On May 21, IU notified all faculty, staff, and students via email that there would be a requirement to receive a COVID-19 vaccine for the fall semester. Failing to do so will result in students’ class registrations being canceled, their university-issued IDs terminated, and are prohibited from any on-campus activity.
The lawsuit claims that IU’s vaccine mandate violates the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment, including rights of personal autonomy and bodily integrity and the right to reject medical treatment.
The university will go forward with its current vaccination plan. This plan requires all students, staff, and faculty to be fully vaccinated by Aug. 15.
However, the university has provided exemptions to their mandate as well. These include religious exemptions, medical exemptions with documentation, medical deferrals (i.e. an active pregnancy, breastfeeding, or those who have received an organ transplant in the past three to six months), or students that are 100% online.