Magistrate Damon Leysi of South Bent Court, east of Chicago, handed down the first verdict in the case, but it is being appealed to the Supreme Court.
Captured by eight students in a hurry, he refused to suspend the new health rules imposed by Indiana University with a view to resuming classes on his campuses from August 1 to August 15.
These rules make vaccination mandatory for its 90,000 students and 40,000 staff, but exempt for religious or medical reasons.
Judge Damon writes that the Constitution allows students to “refuse medical treatment on the basis of the principle of the right to dispose of one’s body.”
But it also allows “the imposition of a reasonable immunization process for the legitimate benefit of public health.” “That’s what the university did,” he said at the end of the hundred pages.
Of the eight who complained, six were already benefiting from the exemption on religious grounds, but he recalled not wanting to wear a mask or respect social distance.
Some have fears that advanced religious motives or discrimination may be shown, while others write that the move deserves a “cultural attack,” the magistrate writes. However, they have all, in recent months, agreed to comply with these health measures in other contexts, he underscores.
The vaccine campaign in the United States, which has made tremendous progress against the epidemic, has stalled in recent weeks. About 68% of adults have at least the first size, but there are large geographical disparities.
Opposition to the vaccine is closely linked to US political divisions, with the most significant hostility on the right, especially among Donald Trump supporters.
Several conservative groups, such as the Turning Point Student Union, have launched a campaign against compulsory vaccination on campuses and are supporting complaints across the country.
Universities, for their part, have taken on various positions, and currently half a thousand people need to get their students or staff vaccinated against Govt.