Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett on Thursday declined to block Indiana University's controversial vaccine mandate. The high court judge has jurisdiction over the appeals court involved in the case and made the decision without referring the matter to the full court, CNN explains. It's the first time SCOTUS justices have been asked to get involved with a vaccine mandate as such mandates are increasingly being put in place, and Barrett's decision indicates similar mandates could be legally enforceable. It could set a legal precedent for similar cases, Fox News reports.
The lawsuit over the school's mandate was filed by eight students, seven of whom have either already been granted an exemption or are eligible for one, Politico reports. The university allows exemptions on religious or medical grounds. Other courts have also denied the students' request for emergency relief, but the students say they will continue to fight the mandate in the lower courts. Barrett gave no reason for her denial of the request, but other courts have cited a 1905 Supreme Court decision allowing states to mandate the smallpox vaccine. One of the judges who ruled against the students noted that anyone who disagrees with the mandate can attend a different school. Some conservatives on Twitter were decidedly unhappy with the Trump-appointed justice's decision on the matter. (Read more Amy Coney Barrett stories.)