(c) 2022 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, August 13, 2021

Justice Barrett denies an injunction against a vaccine mandate

Yesterday evening US Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett denied a request for a writ of injunction against a vaccine mandate. Students at the University of Indiana [IU] a Fourteenth Amendment challenge to the school’s requirement that all students receive a COVID vaccine.


The appeal was taken rom an Order of July 18, 2021, by the USDCT for the Northern District of Indiana that had denied the student’s request for preliminary relief. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals previously had denied the motion for injunction on August 2, 2021.


On May 21, 2021, IU announced that all faculty, staff, and students would be required to take a COVID vaccine. If students failed to comply, UI stated that it would result in Strong Consequences,” i.e., virtual expulsion including canceled class registration, termination of UI identification cards, and restrictions from participation in any on-campus activity.


Exceptions to the mandate are permitted for religious and medical reasons. If UI issued an exemption, then strict masking and testing required would need to be followed.


The issues presented in the application were:

(1) Whether heightened scrutiny applies to Indiana University’s mandate that all IU students take the COVID vaccine in violation of their constitutional rights to bodily integrity and autonomy and medical treatment choice so that IU must prove that its mandate is justified, which the courts below erroneously failed to do; and 

(2) whether IU failed to prove that its mandate is justified under heightened scrutiny.


Klassen v. Trustees of Indiana University, Docket No. 21A15, Decided August 12, 2021.


See also: Amy Howe, Barrett leaves Indiana University’s vaccine mandate in place, SCOTUSblog (Aug. 12, 2021, 9:40 PM),

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Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author of NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (Thomson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (Thomson-Reuters). For over 4 decades the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman  1.973.696.7900  has been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.

Blog: Workers ' Compensation

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Author: "Workers' Compensation Law" Thomson-Reuters