Eight Indiana University students have filed a federal lawsuit against the school, alleging that its COVID-19 vaccine requirement violates both their constitutional rights and the state’s new vaccine passport law.
The students allege they will face “strong consequences” if they refuse to get vaccinated.
The lawsuit, filed Monday, contends that the university’s vaccine policy violates the Fourteenth Amendment, thereby denying them the right to protect their personal autonomy and bodily integrity.
The lawsuit also claims that the school’s policy violates Indiana’s new anti-“vaccine passport” regulation signed by Gov. Eric Holcomb in April.
IU has offered students medical and religious exemptions. But the suit says they object to extra requirements placed on students who receive exemptions, such as requiring them to wear masks in public spaces.
Earlier this month, Indiana University modified its COVID-19 vaccination requirement, making it optional that students and employees provide proof of getting the shots. IU’s initial mandatory vaccine requirement drew protests from many state officials.
IU spokesman Chuck Carney told Fox News the vaccine policy remains in place for “all Indiana University students, faculty and staff.”
“The university is confident it will prevail in this case. Following the release of the Indiana attorney general’s opinion, our process was revised, with uploading proof of vaccination no longer required,” Carney said. “The attorney general’s opinion affirmed our right to require the vaccine.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.