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COVID on Campus

Armed with WDLA Judge Doughty's recent order granting plaintiffs' TRO in Magliulo v. Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, 3:21-cv-02304 (WDLA 8/17/2021); the Louisiana Department of Justice has put the state's public university systems on notice that student rights vis-a-vis vaccine mandates must be respected.

Now that the FDA approved Pfizer's vaccine, new arguments must accommodate changed circumstances. Judge Doughty obliquely acknowledges as much with his footnote 11 ("It should also be noted that all of the COVID-19 vaccinations are under emergency use authorization and have not yet been fully approved by the FDA.") However, nothing in the constitutional analysis, application of Louisiana's Preservation of Religious Freedom Act (La. R.S. 13:5232), or the state's prior school vaccination laws (La. R.S. 17:170) address regulatory approval as a relevant fact. The Louisiana House of Representatives' May 10, 2021 Resolution 20 recognizes "mandated COVID-19 vaccines for colleges and universities" and the right to refuse under 21 U.S.C. 360bbb – 3(e)(1)(A)(ii)(III).

Posted below are Judge Doughty's opinion, the La. DOJ amicus brief filed in his court and the department's August 23, 2021 letter sent to each of Louisiana's four university systems.

Posted: Aug. 27, 2021