Wednesday, September 01, 2021

TRO Requires University Soccer Team To Grant Religious Exemptions From Vaccine Mandate

In Dahl v. Board of Trustees of Western Michigan University, (WD MI, (Aug. 31, 2021), a Michigan federal district court issued a temporary restraining order requiring the University to grant religious exemptions from its COVID vaccine requirement to four members of the women's soccer team. The university had previously denied the students' exemption requests. The 14-day TRO was issued on the basis of an ex parte motion.  The court said in part:

On the record before this Court, and understanding that WMU has not been afforded an opportunity to response, WMU’s vaccination requirement for student athletes is not justified by a compelling interest and is not narrowly tailored.... WMU has asserted that it has a compelling reason, albeit in a perfunctory manner. WMU appears to conclude that unvaccinated players pose a risk to the health of the vaccinated players.

Great Lakes Justice Center issued a press release announcing the decision, and providing links to pleadings in the case.