Supreme Court rejects challenge to Connecticut law that eliminated religious vaccination exemption | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Supreme Court rejects challenge to Connecticut law that eliminated religious vaccination exemption

The U.S Supreme Court is seen, Thursday, June 20, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)
Original Publication Date June 24, 2024 - 6:46 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a challenge to a 2021 Connecticut law that eliminated the state’s longstanding religious exemption from childhood immunization requirements for schools, colleges and day care facilities.

The justices did not comment in leaving in place a federal appeals court ruling that upheld the contentious law. A lower court judge had earlier dismissed the lawsuit challenging the law, which drew protests at the state Capitol.

Connecticut law requires students to receive certain immunizations before enrolling in school, allowing some medical exemptions. Prior to 2021, students also could seek religious exemptions. Lawmakers ended the religious exemption over concerns that an uptick in exemption requests was coupled with a decline in vaccination rates in some schools.

The change allowed current students in K-12 who already had a religious exemption to keep it.

“This is the end of the road to a challenge to Connecticut’s lifesaving and fully lawful vaccine requirements," Democratic Attorney General William Tong said in a statement. “We have said all along, and the courts have affirmed, the legislature acted responsibly and well within its authority to protect the health of Connecticut families and to stop the spread of preventable disease.”

An email was sent seeking comment with one of the lead attorneys for the group We the Patriots USA Inc., a lead plaintiff in the case. The group — which has challenged other vaccination laws, including for COVID-19 — argued had argued along with several parents that Connecticut violated religious freedom protections by removing the exemption. The new law shows a hostility to religious believers and jeopardizes their rights to medical freedom and child rearing, they said in court papers.

Tong's office said only one part of the case remains active. It involves a single plaintiff’s claim based on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

“The Office of the Attorney General is confident that the IDEA claim will be dismissed by the District Court on remand,” according to a new release.

News from © The Associated Press, 2024
The Associated Press

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