The first case about required COVID-19 vaccinations to make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court had Hoosiers written all over it.
Some Indiana University students wanted judges to block the university's vaccine mandate, but federal district and appeals courts declined to do it. So, they took their argument – that IU was forcing them to give up their rights in order to return to school – to the high court.
Nope, said Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
A University of Notre Dame graduate and former law professor there appointed to the Supreme Court last year by former President Donald Trump, she declined to refer the case to the full nine-member court. Barrett did not give a reason, but lower court rulings have said universities can do what's necessary to keep students and others safe.
“Vaccinations protect not only the vaccinated persons but also those who come in contact with them, and at a university close contact is inevitable,” a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit says.
Students claimed the vaccine could be more dangerous than the virus, which has killed more than 600,000 people in the U.S. Federal appeals court Judge Frank Easterbrook fired back, writing, “People who do not want to be vaccinated (at IU) may go elsewhere.”
Each Supreme Court justice is responsible for requests from certain areas of the country, and Barrett handles cases from Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.