Indiana University Can Require COVID Vaccines for Students, Rules Federal Judge

Eight students sued the school in June, claiming the mandate violates their 14th Amendment rights of personal autonomy and bodily integrity.
Indiana University Can Require COVID Vaccines for Students, Rules Federal Judge
Image credit: Sanjin Wang | Getty Images

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now!
2 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Judge Damon R. Leichty of the U.S. District Court for Northern Indiana says public health concerns take precedence over individual freedom when it comes to the school’s COVID-19 policy, according to the NY Times

The federal judge ruled that the university has the right to “pursue a reasonable and due process of vaccination in the legitimate interest of public health for its students, faculty, and staff.” 

The judge also denied the students’ motion for a preliminary injunction that would have temporarily halted the vaccine requirement.

In his 101-page opinion, the judge wrote that unvaccinated students and those without exemptions will not be allowed on campus or hold university email accounts.  

Related: "An Anomalous, Misguided Intrusion": Major Cruise Line Sues Florida Over Vaccine Passport Ban

Exceptions are students who qualify for medical, religious or ethical exemptions or those attending online programs. Students who do qualify for exemption must take additional measures that include wearing masks on campus and taking additional COVID-19 tests.

The ruling is apparently the first in favor of an educational institution’s vaccine mandate and could set the bar for other schools. 

The lawyer representing the eight students, James Bopp, Jr., says he’ll appeal the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

The case could reach the Supreme Court in the next two weeks.  

Related: Elon Musk: You don't need a college degree to work at Tesla

More from Entrepreneur
Entrepreneur Select: A Fund For Entrepreneurs, By Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs require more than just money, which is why we aim to empower you, as well as act as a catalyst for value creation.

Discover the franchise that’s right for you by answering some quick questions about
  • Which industry you’re interested in
  • Why you want to buy a franchise
  • What your financial needs are
  • Where you’re located
  • And more
Try a risk-free trial of Entrepreneur’s BIZ PLANNING PLUS powered by LivePlan for 60 days:
  • Get step-by-step guidance for writing your plan
  • Gain inspiration from 500+ sample plans
  • Utilize business and legal templates
  • And much more

Latest on Entrepreneur