SOUTH BEND, Ind.–Indiana University has won a court case that could have stopped them from requiring the coronavirus vaccine. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana in South Bend issued a ruling overnight that denies an injunction sought by at least eight IU students.
“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,” read a statement issued Monday morning by the university.
“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.”
The students, who were represented by Terre Haute attorney Jim Bopp, Jr., sued to stop the requirement, on the grounds that the requirement violated their Constitutional rights. The ruling from the federal court cites other court cases, saying vaccine requirements have been upheld at least twice by federal courts.
Students at Indiana University have a significant liberty protected by the Constitution—refusing unwanted medical treatment based on bodily autonomy. The Fourteenth Amendment says no state may “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law,” reads the ruling.
“Given this due process protection of liberty, longstanding constitutional law prevents a public university—an arm of the State—from mandating a vaccine for its students unless it has rationally pursued a legitimate interest in public health for its campus community.”
The conclusion of the ruling is that the university proved it had pursued that legitimate interest.