A federal judge in South Bend is hearing the case from eight Indiana University students who are suing the school over its vaccine policies.
The policy essentially requires students and staff to get a vaccine in order to return to school. Though unvaccinated students would be allowed back as well they would be subject to more rigorous COVID testing and policies.
Attorney James Bopp said after a hearing Tuesday that even that is pushing the boundary too far of what is constitutional since the vaccines do not have full FDA approval. He said the policy violates the 14th amendment.
“IU is claiming carte blanche to do whatever they want to do whatever they want,” Bopp said. “They think they can impose any measure in the name of public health and won’t have to provide any evidence to support it or have to provide any justification for doing it.”
Bopp said IU’s vaccine policy should at least be blocked until the lawsuit is resolved. Indiana University is citing a Supreme Court ruling from 1905 that essentially cut the courts out of any decision-making when it comes to vaccines.
“It is within the police power of a State to enact a compulsory vaccination law, and it is for the legislature, and not for the courts, to determine,” the SCOTUS ruling said. “In the first instance whether vaccination is or is not the best mode for the prevention of smallpox and the protection of the public health.”
“They (IU) rely on a case during the progressive era that basically wrote the courts out of any review of public health measures,” Bopp added. “Giving no authority to the courts to review a public health measure imposed by the government? That’s ludicrous!”
Bopp feels the judge, with the consideration of “modern recognition of Constitutional rights” under the 1905 ruling, can overturn that ruling if Indiana University (i.e the government) cannot show viable justification for its vaccine policy.
Both parties in the case urged the judge to have a decision before the school year starts later this year. The judge said that he would have a ruling “very soon.”