Vaccines over Religious Exercise

Church Law and Tax Report Vaccines over Religious Exercise A New York court ruled that

Church Law and Tax Report

Vaccines over Religious Exercise

A New York court ruled that a state law barring unvaccinated children from attending public schools did not violate the constitutional right of parents to the free exercise of their religion. Three parents with school-age children (the “plaintiffs”) filed a lawsuit challenging New York’s vaccination law, which required children to be vaccinated and offered a religion-based exemption, but prohibited unvaccinated children with a religious exemption from attending school each time any schoolmate contracts a “vaccine preventable disease.”

The plaintiffs claimed that their constitutional right to the free exercise of religion was violated when their children were excluded from school due to their religious beliefs running counter to vaccination practice. Plaintiffs argued that their children were “arbitrarily, capriciously, unreasonably and unconstitutionally denied” the right to free exercise of religion based on the state vaccination practice.

The court, in rejecting the plaintiffs’ claims, relied on a 1905 ruling by the United States Supreme Court, and more recent federal cases in New York, finding that religious objectors are not constitutionally exempt from vaccinations. Jacobson v. Commonwealth, 197 U.S. 11 (1905), Caviezel v. Great Neck Public Schools, 739 F.Supp.2d 273(E.D.N.Y. 2010) (“the free exercise clause of the First Amendment does not provide a right for religious objectors to be exempt from New York’s compulsory inoculation law”).

What This Means For Churches:

An increasing number of public elementary and secondary public schools have adopted policies requiring the vaccination of students. Many of these policies are based on state law. While religious exemptions are recognized in some states, many exemptions are conditional and, as this case demonstrates, will not always apply. Phillips v. City of New York, 2014 WL 2547584 (E.D.N.Y. 2014).

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations." Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.

ajax-loader-largecaret-downcloseHamburger Menuicon_amazonApple PodcastsBio Iconicon_cards_grid_caretChild Abuse Reporting Laws by State IconChurchSalary Iconicon_facebookGoogle Podcastsicon_instagramLegal Library IconLegal Library Iconicon_linkedinLock IconMegaphone IconOnline Learning IconPodcast IconRecent Legal Developments IconRecommended Reading IconRSS IconSubmiticon_select-arrowSpotify IconAlaska State MapAlabama State MapArkansas State MapArizona State MapCalifornia State MapColorado State MapConnecticut State MapWashington DC State MapDelaware State MapFederal MapFlorida State MapGeorgia State MapHawaii State MapIowa State MapIdaho State MapIllinois State MapIndiana State MapKansas State MapKentucky State MapLouisiana State MapMassachusetts State MapMaryland State MapMaine State MapMichigan State MapMinnesota State MapMissouri State MapMississippi State MapMontana State MapMulti State MapNorth Carolina State MapNorth Dakota State MapNebraska State MapNew Hampshire State MapNew Jersey State MapNew Mexico IconNevada State MapNew York State MapOhio State MapOklahoma State MapOregon State MapPennsylvania State MapRhode Island State MapSouth Carolina State MapSouth Dakota State MapTennessee State MapTexas State MapUtah State MapVirginia State MapVermont State MapWashington State MapWisconsin State MapWest Virginia State MapWyoming State IconShopping Cart IconTax Calendar Iconicon_twitteryoutubepauseplay