Lawsuit contesting LA COVID vaccine mandate reinstated by appeals court

by | Jun 10, 2024

A federal appeals court has reinstated a lawsuit contesting the COVID-19 vaccine mandate implemented by the Los Angeles school district. The court highlighted that the existing evidence does not conclusively demonstrate that the vaccines prevent COVID-19 transmission.

 

The Health Freedom Defense Fund, along with other opponents of the mandate, argued that it infringed upon the due process and equal protection rights of district employees, partly because the vaccines, unlike traditional ones, “are not effective” at preventing infection.

In 2022, U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer dismissed the case, ruling that even if the COVID-19 vaccines do not prevent infection, mandates are permissible under a 1905 U.S. Supreme Court decision since the vaccines help reduce symptoms and prevent severe illness and death.

On June 7, a panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit overturned Judge Fischer's ruling. The panel determined that Judge Fischer had misapplied the 1905 Jacobson v. Massachusetts decision, which justified government-mandated preventive measures to stop the spread of disease. The panel noted that Fischer extended this rationale to include “forced medical treatment” for the recipient’s own benefit, which goes beyond the original public health intent of the ruling.

U.S. Circuit Judge Ryan Nelson, writing for the 2–1 majority, emphasized that at this point, the court must accept as true the plaintiffs' claims that the vaccine does not prevent COVID-19 transmission. As a result, the Jacobson ruling is not applicable. This conclusion was drawn after the defendants' lawyers presented facts about the vaccines that did not contradict the plaintiffs' claims, he noted.

The district's lawyers referenced a publication from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describing the COVID-19 vaccines as “safe and effective,” but this publication does not address their effectiveness in preventing transmission.

It was also determined by the majority that the case remains relevant despite the Los Angeles Unified School District rescinding the mandate in 2023. This action occurred only after the appeals court heard arguments, and statements from district board members suggested the mandate might be reinstated in the future. In 2021, following a lawsuit, the district allowed employees to opt for frequent COVID-19 testing instead of vaccination, but this option was removed after another lawsuit was dismissed.

 

 

The Epoch Times

 

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