Federal appeals court dismisses IU vaccine mandate case

The court stated that seven of the eight students in the suit qualify for a religious exemption and the eighth doesn’t intend to return to IU.
FILE - IU Bloomington campus
FILE - IU Bloomington campus(WTHR)
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 12:56 PM EST
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC and WTHR) - On Tuesday, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals instructed the dismissal of a lawsuit challenging Indiana University’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, declaring the case had become moot.

IU’s policy requires students to be vaccinated to attend the university, though the university has not been requiring documentation of such after state lawmakers and the Indiana attorney general said it violates a state law banning immunization passports by the government.

A district court and federal court of appeals both denied the eight students who were fighting the mandate. The students then asked the Supreme Court for an emergency order, saying the risks of vaccination outweigh the benefits of receiving the shot for those in their age group.

In August 2021, the Supreme Court refused to block Indiana University’s policy. IU filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which was denied by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in September.

That led up to Tuesday’s ruling, in which the court stated seven of the eight students qualify for the university’s exemption on religious grounds and the other has stated she doesn’t intend to return to IU.

“Given the religious exemption enjoyed by seven plaintiffs, and the withdrawal of the eighth, these plaintiffs will not be aggrieved by the University’s vaccination requirement in the future,” the court said.

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