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Second Circuit Review: Circuit Approves Repeal of Religious Exemptions from Vaccine Mandates

August 23, 2023

Litigation of counsel Martin Flumenbaum and firm Chairman Brad Karp’s latest Second Circuit Review column, “Circuit Approves Repeal of Religious Exemptions from Vaccine Mandates,” appeared in the August 23 issue of the New York Law Journal. The authors discuss the Second Circuit’s decision in We the Patriots USA v. Connecticut Office of Early Childhood Development, a case that examines the novel question of whether Connecticut’s repeal of religious exemptions from vaccination requirements for children to attend schools violated various constitutional rights. In recent years, several other states have enacted similar repeals, and courts have been divided on their constitutionality. In this case, the Second Circuit affirmed the Connecticut district court’s decision to dismiss each of the four constitutional claims, while remanding the final claim, under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), for further proceedings. The decision will likely be an important precedent for policymakers across the country considering similar bills in the wake of the public debate surrounding vaccination mandates in the post-COVID-19 world. Litigation associate Ben Perotin assisted in the preparation of this column.

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