Friday, October 01, 2021

Limited Religious Exemptions From Vaccine Mandate Challenged

Suit was filed this week in a Colorado federal district court challenging provisions limiting religious exemptions from the University of Colorado Medical School's vaccine mandate.  The school offers a religious exemption only to those whose objections are based on a religious belief whose teachings are opposed to all immunizations. The complaint (full text) in Jane Doe, M.D. v. University of Colorado,(D CO, filed 9/29/2021), says in part:

[The policy] imposes two necessary conditions to ... any religious accommodation, namely:

a. ... [A] sincere religious belief that opposes acceptance of “all immunizations” and vaccines; and

b. That the person requesting a religious accommodation be a member of an organized religion whose tenets include a hierarchically promulgated, authoritative position on the moral liceity of “all immunizations” and vaccines....

Both conditions are clearly forbidden by the Establishment, Free Exercise, and Equal Protection clauses of the United States constitution and the Religious Freedom provisions of the Colorado constitution.... [They] privileg[e] hierarchically prescribed religious belief over autonomously prescribed (yet sincerely held) religious belief.

Thomas More Society issued a press release announcing the filing of the lawsuit.