(Hartford, CT) – Attorney General William Tong released the following statement about a decision today from the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upholding Connecticut Public Act No. 21-6, which eliminated the religious exemption to school vaccine requirements.

“This decision is a full and resounding affirmation of the constitutionality and legality of Connecticut’s vaccine requirements. Vaccines save lives—this is a fact beyond dispute. The legislature acted responsibly and well within its authority to protect the health of Connecticut families and stop the spread of preventable disease. We will continue to vigorously defend our state’s strong and necessary public health laws,” said Attorney General Tong.

Plaintiffs — We the Patriots USA, Inc — argued that Connecticut violated their First Amendment rights by removing the religious exemption from school vaccination requirements. Today’s decision entirely rejects that argument.

After today’s decision, the only part of the case that remains active is a single plaintiff’s claim based on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  The Office of the Attorney General is confident that the IDEA claim will be dismissed by the District Court on remand.

Connecticut law requires students receive certain immunizations before enrolling in school. Prior to 2021, students could apply for medical or religious exemptions to that requirement. P.A. 21-6 eliminated the religious exemption, while grandfathering students in kindergarten through grade twelve who had already received such exemptions.

Stephen Krauchick

By Stephen Krauchick

DoingItLocal is run by Steve Krauchick. Steve has always had interest with breaking news even as an early teen, opting to listen to the Watergate hearings instead of top 40 on the radio. His interest in news spread to become the communities breaking news leader in Connecticut’s Fairfield County. He strongly believes that the public has right to know what is happening in their backyard and that government needs to be transparent. Steve also likes promoting local businesses.

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