Federal Judge Bars Western Michigan University From Mandating Covid Vaccines for Athletes


A federal judge on Tuesday issued a temporary injunction stopping Western University from mandating Covid vaccines for athletes.

US District Judge Paul Maloney, a George W. Bush appointee, put a 14-day pause on the university’s vaccine mandate for athletes, but denied the request to halt the mandate from one of the school’s employees who claimed they had natural immunity.

The injunction was in response to a lawsuit filed by seniors on the women’s university soccer team.

The athletes argued Western Michigan University’s vaccine mandate “seeks to override” their “sincerely held religious beliefs and viewpoint and discriminates against them on the basis of their religion.” – And the Judge agreed.

“When law forces an individual to choose between following her religious beliefs or forfeiting benefits, the law places a substantial burden on the individual’s free exercise of religion,” Judge Maloney wrote.

Detroit News reported:

A federal judge on Tuesday issued a temporary restraining order barring Western Michigan University from mandating COVID-19 vaccination among its athletes.

But U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney denied a request for a temporary restraining order from a Michigan State University employee who is suing the university over its vaccine mandate on the argument that she has immunity.

Maloney’s 14-day pause on Western’s vaccine mandate for athletes comes after four student athletes sued the university Monday on the grounds that the requirement violated their religious beliefs.

After the university denied their request for religious exemptions, the athletes were set to be permanently kicked off their teams if they weren’t vaccinated prior to Tuesday.

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