The Supreme Court’s junior-most justice was assigned to review the appeal filed by eight Indiana students, who argued that the school was not respecting their rights to religious exemption.
Barrett declined to provide her reason for rejecting the case. However, her decision came as a disappointment to many conservatives and civil-libertarians who have maintained a pro-choice stance on the vaccines.
College sports fans may soon voice their own displeasure as the schools’ athletic conferences re-evaluate their policies, using Barrett’s rejection as their legal justification to impose new mandates.
During the 2020 football season, as many liability-averse schools discussed cancelling their games during the pandemic, then-President Donald Trump famously pressured the Big Ten conference (which includes Indiana) to play.
But with the far-left Biden administration coercing even private companies to require vaccines, the circumstances for public universities have changed drastically.
As of this time, the NCAA, which oversees all of the athletic conferences, does not require schools to follow a particular protocol in dealing with the coronavirus, but it does give them the option to mandate vaccines if they wish.
It also has provided guidelines to the conferences on how to handle the virus and implemented a rule that any team unable to play due to virus infection will be forced into forfeiture.
Some conferences, such as the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, have already determined that they will mandate vaccinations for student-athletes, as have many individual schools.
In his rejection of the Indiana students’ appeal, 7th Circuit Judge Frank Easterbrook emphasized that most colleges already mandate other vaccinations “to keep other students safe in a congregate setting,” including those for measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria and tetanus.
But the eight students fighting the mandate argued that the experimental COVID vaccines were not like the other vaccines required by the university.
First, they noted, the Food and Drug Administration has not yet authorized the vaccines for anything beyond emergency use.
Second, they argued, the vaccine is not necessary since coronavirus does not pose a particular danger for college students.
As of Aug. 4, only 2,519 of the 606,389 total COVID deaths (0.4%) in the US fell into the 18-29 age range, which includes the vast majority of college undergraduate students.
Headline USA’s Ben Sellers contributed to this report.