COVID vaccine mandates at public universities legally challenged after George Mason professor files suit

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Credit: Paul Lara/InsideNova
Credit: Paul Lara/InsideNova

A law-school professor filed a lawsuit [August 4] challenging George Mason University’s coronavirus vaccine mandate, arguing it is unnecessarily coercive and unconstitutional.

The nonprofit New Civil Liberties Alliance filed the case against George Mason’s president and some of its other leaders in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on behalf of Todd Zywicki, a professor at the university’s Antonin Scalia Law School.

The lawsuit argues that the public university has no compelling interest in overriding Zywicki’s personal autonomy and that because none of the vaccines approved for use in the United States has received full Food and Drug Administration approval, the school’s policy is in conflict with federal law.

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Zywicki said in an interview that he would have gotten vaccinated if he had not already contracted, and recovered from, covid-19. He said he was advised by his immunologist that he has strong natural immunity to the virus now, confirmed by positive antibody tests, and that a vaccine is medically unnecessary.

“I would rather rely on the advice of my doctor,” Zywicki said, “than mid-level bureaucrats at Mason who are designing a one-size-fits-all solution.”

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