United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Free Exercise Clause
Vaccination – Repeal of religious exemptions
We the Patriots USA Inc., et al. v. Conn. Office of Early Childhood Dev.
Judges Leval, Chin, and Bianco
Background: The plaintiffs appealed from the dismissal of their challenging a statute that repealed religious exemptions from state immunization requirements for schoolchildren, college and university students, and childcare participants.
Ruling: The Second Circuit affirmed in part and vacated in part. The court held that the statute in question, which previously accommodated religious objections to vaccination, satisfies rational basis review as the statute and the legislative history is neutral and generally applicable. Thus, the statute in question does not violate the Free Exercise Clause.
Norman A. Pattis for the plaintiffs-appellants; Darren P. Cunningham, assistant attorney general, for the defendants-appellees.