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HomeGeneralSupreme Court Strikes Down Challenge to Connecticut Law Eliminating Religious Vaccination Exemption

Supreme Court Strikes Down Challenge to Connecticut Law Eliminating Religious Vaccination Exemption

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The Supreme Court dismissed an appeal of a Connecticut statute passed in 2021 that removed certain criteria from the state’s childhood immunization requirements. This requirement was in place for a long time, and affectionate children were in daycare up until college.

On Monday, June 24, 2024, the Supreme Court justices said nothing concerning a lower court decision to uphold the contested legislation. Previously, a federal appeals court justice had moments before choosing to dismiss the case that was challenging the legislation. Consequently, the justice actions resulted in a demonstration in Connecticut.

The Supreme Court dismissed a 2021 Connecticut statute appeal. The rule stated that children must get specific vaccinations before school under state law, despite some medical exemptions.

Before 2021, students could apply for religious exemptions to prevent them from taking certain vaccines. Legislators have ended the religious exemption over concerns that students and parents could abuse the legislation. Consequently, it would cause a decline in the rates at which vaccinations are carried out in schools.

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In response to the ruling, Connecticut’s Attorney General, William Tong, issued an official statement. Tong said the decision was the end of Connecticut’s legal vaccine mandate. Tong stated that it was something they had always agreed with, but now the court has affirmed it. 

Additionally, Tong claimed that the legislature acted as it ought to, helping to protect the lives and health of Connecticut residents. However, Brian Festa described the verdict as disappointing and claimed he would keep fighting to get the rules back. Festa is the vice president and co-founder of the group We the Patriots USA, Inc. Festa is a core member of the plaintiffs in the just-concluded lawsuit. 

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We the Patriots are a group known for its stance against vaccine legislation, most notably COVID-19. The group, in collaboration with Connecticut parents, has argued that the lawsuit infringes on their religious freedom. According to court documents, the group stated that the new legislation was discriminatory toward religious people and their medical freedom.

According to Tong’s office, there is still an open aspect of the case based on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), concerning a single plaintiff’s claim. Federal law mandates schools to provide free education to disabled children with individual education plans, even if they request a religious vaccination exemption. The office expressed confidence in the dismissal of the claim.

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We The Patriots USA are also involved in a federal case that is pending on behalf of a Christian childcare and preschool that is contesting the constitutionality of Connecticut’s vaccination statute. 

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According to Festa, the group has a tradition of fighting on several fronts at once and never putting all of our eggs in one basket. Subsequently, Festa described the ruling as a setback but away from total defeat.

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