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Citizen’s United Lawyer Files Anti-Vaccine Suit

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August 11, 2021

James Bopp, the conservative lawyer who brought the campaign finance case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, has asked the Supreme Court to block Indiana University’s requirement that all students be vaccinated against the Covid virus. According to the suit, students will be forced to give up their constitutional rights to “bodily integrity, autonomy, and medical choice” so that they can “receive a government benefit (matriculating at IU).” The students claim the university’s interests aren’t strong enough to justify the requirement, because the risks of death or serious illness from Covid for college students are “close to zero.” On July 18, a district judge denied their request for a court order blocking the mandate. A three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit declined to put the mandate on hold while the litigation proceeds, calling the university’s policy clearly constitutional under Jacobson v. Massachusetts, the 1905 case in which the Supreme Court upheld a vaccine mandate for smallpox. The case, Klaassen v. Trustees of Indiana University, goes to Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who is responsible for emergency appeals from the 7th Circuit. Barrett can either act herself or refer it to the full court.

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