Judge tosses remainder of lawsuit challenging MSU's COVID-19 vaccine requirement

A federal judge has tossed the remainder of a lawsuit challenging Michigan State University’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

In a ruling issued Tuesday, District Judge Paul Maloney in Kalamazoo said employees who sued failed to establish that it was irrational for the school not to provide an exception for people with natural immunity from an infection. He cited MSU’s reliance on guidance from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Two of the workers were fired after refusing to get vaccinated, according to the New Civil Liberties Alliance, a Washington, D.C.-based group that filed suit.

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The judge tossed a count alleging that the university violated their constitutional rights by not letting them decline medical treatment. He had previously dismissed two other counts.

The plaintiffs will appeal to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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"We understand that the court believed it had no choice given the prevailing case law. However, contrary to the judge’s opinion, a higher level of review is warranted. Under such a standard, MSU’s policy is unconstitutional," lawyer Jenin Younes said in a statement.

The school’s mandate covers both students and employees, with exemptions for religious beliefs or medical conditions.