As high-profile Democrats encourage institutions and businesses to enact COVID-19 mandates around the country, several legal battles over the constitutionality of such decisions are playing out across the country.
According to Breitbart, a group of students at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) banded together and took the school’s vaccine mandate to a federal judge. The students walked out with a massive victory, as the judge ruled that such a mandate would be a violation of religious liberty, given that the school didn’t offer exemptions for religious or medical reasons.
It was at the end of June that VCOM issued a memo to all students saying that in order to be eligible to enroll in fall classes, students would have to prove they’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
At first, the school noted that religious and medical exemptions would be factored in for eligible students. However, later on, the school seemed to completely walk back those exemptions, requiring every student to be fully vaccinated, which sparked an immediate legal challenge.
A group of VCOM students, including Lynn Magliulo, Matthew Shea Willis, and Kirsten Willis Hall, claimed that the school not allowing religious exemption from being vaccinated violated their constitutional right to freedom of religion.
In part, the students argued that the vaccines are “devised from aborted fetal tissues, violating their religious beliefs,” thus going against deeply held religious beliefs. The students also cited the current status of the vaccines, which are still considered “experimental.”
Ultimately, Trump-appointed U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty agreed with the three students and issued a temporary restraining order against VCOM.
The judge ruled that the “threat to religious freedom was imminent,” and added that the “potential harm of a constitutional violation, ability to complete their education, ethics charges, and possible expulsion outweighs VCOM’s interest.”
While the victory is certainly one to be celebrated, hopefully, other federal judges around the country will follow suit, as the amount of litigation over COVID-19 vaccine mandates will undoubtedly skyrocket in the coming months.