Supreme Court Won't Hear Vaccination Challenges

Two cases were tied to RFK Jr.'s organization
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 24, 2024 4:46 PM CDT
Supreme Court Lets Rulings on Vaccination Challenges Stand
The U.S Supreme Court in Washington is seen Thursday.   (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a challenge to a 2021 Connecticut law that eliminated the state's longstanding religious exemption from childhood immunization requirements for schools, colleges, and daycare facilities. The justices did not comment in leaving in place a federal appeals court ruling that upheld the contentious law, the AP reports. A lower court judge had earlier dismissed the lawsuit challenging the law. Connecticut law requires students to receive certain immunizations before enrolling in school, allowing some medical exemptions. Prior to 2021, students also could seek religious exemptions. Lawmakers ended the religious exemption over concerns that an uptick in exemption requests was coupled with a decline in vaccination rates in some schools.

The change allowed current K-12 students who already had a religious exemption to keep it. "This is the end of the road to a challenge to Connecticut's lifesaving and fully lawful vaccine requirements," Democratic Attorney General William Tong said in a statement. "We have said all along, and the courts have affirmed, the legislature acted responsibly and well within its authority to protect the health of Connecticut families and to stop the spread of preventable disease." Brian Festa of the group We the Patriots USA, a lead plaintiff, called the decision disappointing but said it's "not the end of the road for us in our fight to win back religious exemptions for schoolchildren."

The court also turned back two appeals involving COVID-19 vaccines, per the AP, again without comment. That left federal appeals court losses in place for Children's Health Defense, an anti-vaccine nonprofit founded by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. One case the organization brought challenged a vaccination requirement at Rutgers University. In the other, Children's Health Defense allied with parents in arguing the Food and Drug Administration's authorization to vaccinate children. Kennedy went on leave from the organization when he launched his independent presidential bid. (More US Supreme Court stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.