AP] — A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit challenging the law that eliminated Connecticut’s long-standing religious exemption for childhood immunizations requirements for schools, colleges, and day care centers. The state is interested in protecting Connecticut’s student health.
In a 33-page decision, U.S. District Court Judge Janet Bond Arterton said the plaintiffs failed to prove state’s decision to end the exemption was “motivated by any religious animus,” noting concerns raised publicly by state legislators about the growing number of religious exemptions being sought by families and declining vaccination rates.
“Connecticut opted to protect schoolchildren’s safety by requiring that all students who can be safely vaccinated be vaccinated. This exempts those in grades kindergarten to twelve with religious exemptions. Arterton stated that this is to ensure that the community immunity is not compromised. The decision was made public late Tuesday.
The lawsuit was filed by We The Patriots USA, Inc., CT Freedom Alliance, LLC, as well as three parents of Connecticut schoolchildren. Brian Festa, founder and CEO of CT Freedom Alliance, stated in an online statement that plaintiffs had expected the judge to make a decision.
” We have stated from the beginning that we strongly believe that this case can be won at the United States Supreme Court and not at the District Court or at the Second Circuit,” said Festa, an attorney. Festa stated that the plaintiffs intend to appeal the decision quickly in the hope of reaching the highest court in the country.
” Quite honestly, that’s exactly where we want to place the case, so that when victory is ours (which we fully anticipate), a new day in this country will dawn, when no state will ever be allowed to deny any child an education on account of their sincerely held religious beliefs.” He wrote, encouraging supporters to “never lose heart .”
Democrat William Tong praised Arterton’s decision, which dismissed all five plaintiffs’ claims for various reasons.
“Vaccines save lives. In a Wednesday written statement, he stated that the legislature’s actions were fully legal and necessary to protect public safety. “The plaintiffs made a laundry list against the state and each count was dropped .”
The list of required vaccinations required by the state does not include the COVID-19 vaccines.