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Huge -Ninth Circuit Rules COVID shot NOT a Vaccine - LA Schools Open to Liability


Ninth Circuit Ruling on LAUSD COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate: A Legal Turning Point for School Policies

Background:

In a significant decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a district court's ruling on the Los Angeles Unified School District's (LAUSD) COVID-19 vaccine mandate. This ruling may have far-reaching implications for schools that implemented similar mandates.


Key Points of the Ruling:


1. Voluntary Cessation Not Moot: The court determined that LAUSD's suspension of the vaccine mandate did not render the case moot, highlighting the possibility of policy reinstatement. The court emphasized, "LAUSD’s pattern of changing its policies suggests it might reinstate the mandate."


2. Misapplication of Jacobson: The district court was found to have misapplied Jacobson v. Massachusetts. The plaintiffs plausibly alleged that the COVID-19 vaccine does not effectively prevent virus spread, making it more akin to a medical treatment rather than a traditional vaccine. The court stated, "The right to refuse medical treatment is fundamental."


Implications for Schools:


1. Increased Legal Challenges: Schools could face more lawsuits if their health mandates are perceived as infringing on individual rights. This ruling provides a blueprint for legal arguments against such mandates.


2. Policy Reevaluation: School districts may need to reassess their health policies to ensure they do not violate fundamental rights, potentially avoiding the implementation of stringent mandates without thorough consideration of legal implications.


3. Precedent Setting: This decision sets a legal precedent for how vaccine mandates might be challenged in the future, influencing not only public schools but also potentially other public institutions and private employers.


Expert Commentary:


Experts have weighed in on the ruling with varying perspectives. Barbara Ferrer, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, defended the original mandate, stating, "This was a necessary requirement...based on information that was known, then accepted, then verified" to ensure schools could reopen safely (https://www.yahoo.com/news/lausd-ends-covid-19-vaccine-100008001.html).


Leslie Manookian, President of the Health Freedom Defense Fund, criticized the mandate, describing it as "anti-science zealotry" and celebrated the court's decision as a victory for personal medical choice and employee rights. Manookian noted, "The shock and disbelief I felt when the district was enforcing the vaccine mandate turned to fear of possibly losing my job! When I was fortunate to keep my job by teaching virtually, the feeling of being segregated, discriminated, humiliated, and abandoned emerged! I felt, as many of us did, completely alone" (https://californiaglobe.com/articles/lausd-board-finally-rescinds-covid-19-vaccine-mandate-for-employees/).


Conclusion

The Ninth Circuit's decision against LAUSD's vaccine mandate highlights the importance of balancing public health measures with individual rights and evolving scientific evidence. School districts must ensure that their policies are both legally sound and scientifically justified to avoid similar legal repercussions.


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