Monday, October 03, 2022

Qualified Immunity Protects Defendants Who Denied Religious Exemptions From COVID Vaccine Mandate

In Jane Does 1-11 v. Board of Regents of the University of Colorado, (D CO, Sept. 29, 2022), a Colorado federal district court dismissed a number of claims by current and former students and employees of the University of Colorado who were denied religious exemptions from the University's COVID vaccine mandate. Some of the claims were dismissed on mootness and sovereign immunity grounds. Other claims were dismissed on qualified immunity grounds, with the court saying in part:

Given the unprecedented nature and global scope of the Covid-19 pandemic as well as its devastating impacts, the Court finds the allegations in the Complaint do not establish that these Defendants acted unreasonably in light of existing precedent and in the specific context of this case. Therefore, at a minimum, they did not violate Plaintiffs’ clearly established rights.