Monday, January 18, 2021

No Free Exercise Infringement When Court Allocates Vaccination Decision-Making Between Parents

 In In re Marriage of Crouch, (CO App., Jan. 14, 2021), a Colorado state appellate court remanded a trial court's refusal to modify the allocation of medical decision-making by divorced parents for their children. Originally both parents had agreed, largely for religious reasons, that their children should not be vaccinated. Subsequently the father changed his mind and sought to have them vaccinated.  The appeals court held that the trial court improperly imposed on the father an added burden in order to overcome the mother's right to free exercise of religion.  The court said in part:

A parent’s free exercise rights are not implicated by a court’s allocation of decision-making responsibility between parents.

Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports on the decision.