Supreme Court Upholds Connecticut’s Vaccine Law, Rejects Religious Freedom Challenge

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a religious freedom challenge against Connecticut’s 2021 law that removed religious exemptions for vaccinations in schools and daycares.

In 2021, Connecticut eliminated religious exemptions for childhood immunizations required for public schools, daycares, and colleges. Previously, parents could exempt their children from vaccinations on religious grounds.

The new law now mandates that all students, except those with medical exemptions, receive necessary immunizations.

The law was enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic, addressing concerns over declining vaccination rates attributed to religious exemptions. Schools reported outbreaks of preventable diseases due to insufficient immunization coverage.

The law includes a grandfather clause for current K-12 students who had previously received religious exemptions, allowing them to remain exempt.

Legal Challenges and Supreme Court Decision

“We The Patriots USA,” a group challenging vaccination laws nationwide, argued that the law infringed on religious freedom and showed hostility towards religious individuals. Despite these claims, the Supreme Court upheld the law, leaving the previous appeals court ruling intact.

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong praised the Supreme Court’s decision, stating, “This is the end of the road for challenges to Connecticut’s lifesaving and lawful vaccine requirements. The legislature acted responsibly to protect public health.”

The decision comes amid controversies involving several Supreme Court justices, particularly Justice Samuel Alito. Critics have raised concerns over the justices’ religious viewpoints potentially influencing their decisions. Despite the rejection, no justices commented on the case.

Ongoing Legal Battles

“We The Patriots USA” continues to pursue other legal challenges against the Connecticut law, including one on behalf of a Christian daycare and preschool. The group’s president, Michael Festa, emphasized their strategy of fighting on multiple fronts.

The Supreme Court’s decision underscores the judiciary’s stance on public health measures and religious exemptions, affirming Connecticut’s authority to implement vaccine requirements for the safety of its residents.