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May 16, 2024 COVID Legal News

Legal

Breaking: CHD Asks Supreme Court to Hear Rutgers COVID Vaccine Mandate Case

Children’s Health Defense late Wednesday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its case against Rutgers University challenging the university’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

supreme court building and rutgers logo

Children’s Health Defense (CHD) late Wednesday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its case against Rutgers University over the university’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

In a lawsuit filed in August 2021, CHD and 18 Rutgers students alleged the mandate violated the students’ right to informed consent and to refuse unwanted medical treatments.

“The U.S. Supreme Court must hear the case,” Julio C. Gomez, lead attorney for the plaintiffs, told The Defender. “It is their duty to tell America if we have this right or not.”

Gomez added:

“No government — and certainly no college or university — should have the power to force people to take an experimental medical product. That decision should be your personal choice.”

Rutgers was the first university in the U.S. to require COVID-19 vaccination for attendance, threatening to disenroll noncompliant students in the fall 2021 semester.

Last month, the university suspended the mandate. CHD and the Rutgers students in the case “continue to fight” in honor of “our loved ones who were injured by the vaccine or who died needlessly,” Gomez said.

Gomez called the COVID-19 vaccine mandates the “single largest and most profound experiment on humanity the world has ever seen.”

“The experiment failed,” he said. “Big Pharma delivered a product that did not stop infection or transmission, but rather harms and kills people.”

Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) data show 1,637,441 reports of adverse events following COVID-19 vaccines were submitted between Dec. 14, 2020, and April 26, 2024.

VAERS is the primary government-funded system for reporting adverse vaccine reactions in the U.S. Historically, VAERS has been shown to report only 1% of actual vaccine adverse events.

Gomez called the excess mortality rate, excess disability rate, excess number of miscarriages, infertility and cancers since the COVID-19 vaccine rollout an “abomination.”

The U.S Food and Drug Administration “plays dumb” about the situation, he said, and the courts also have dropped the ball.

“So far the courts have thumbed their noses at the right to informed consent, citing an old Supreme Court case from 1905 called Jacobson v. Massachusetts,” Gomez said.

CHD General Counsel Kim Mack Rosenberg called the case against Rutgers an “excellent opportunity” for the Supreme Court to revisit Jacobson v. Massachusetts and uphold people’s right to informed consent.

Unless we have the right to say ‘no’ to an experimental vaccine, ‘there is no liberty’

U.S. citizens have a “fundamental right” to informed consent and to refuse unwanted experimental medical treatment, according to Mack Rosenberg and Gomez.

That right is deeply rooted in the nation’s history and its constitutional tradition. “Unless every man, woman and child has the right to say ‘no’ to an experimental vaccine, there is no liberty,” Gomez said.

As The Defender previously reported, CHD and an initial group of 18 students filed a lawsuit against Rutgers on Aug. 16, 2021, arguing that, “All people have the right to decide their own medical treatment — especially, to decide what to inject into their bodies.”

The complaint also alleged that Rutgers had a financial incentive to require vaccination, as the university was involved in COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials with Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

On Sept. 27, 2021, U.S. District Judge Zahid N. Quraishi denied CHD’s efforts to obtain a temporary restraining order against the university.

The case was dismissed in October 2022, prompting CHD and 13 of the students to appeal the decision.

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Informed consent a ‘fundamental right’

In February 2024, the 3rd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Rutgers, saying Rutgers had a “rational basis” for the mandate as part of its efforts to curb the pandemic on campus.

The court reached its decision by using what Mack Rosenberg called a “rational basis standard of review” — meaning the courts considered Rutgers’ policy as “rational” given the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the court could have used a “heightened standard of review that’s appropriate where fundamental rights are implicated,” she said.

In other words, the court could have ruled that the case wasn’t about whether Rutgers’ policy was rational — it was about whether the plaintiffs have a “fundamental right” to informed consent and to refuse experimental medical treatment.

Had the judges used this more rigorous standard of review, they may have arrived at a different conclusion, Mack Rosenberg said.

“Where a fundamental right is implicated,” she explained, “courts should apply a strict scrutiny standard, which requires that the government has to show a compelling state interest and show that it has narrowly tailored the law or regulation — or here, the mandate — to achieve its purpose using the least restrictive means.”

That’s why it’s important for the Supreme Court to review how the case was handled, she said.

“Liberty and personal choice in medical decision-making are fundamental to our democracy and to allow Rutgers — or anyone else — to eviscerate these freedoms without a heightened standard of review should raise grave concerns to every American who values their liberty,” Mack Rosenberg said.

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