Doe v. San Diego Unified School District
Doe v. San Diego Unified School District (U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Cir., Dec. 4, 2021): A high school student challenged San Diego Unified School District’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate, which requires students 16 years or older to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to participate in in-person learning and extracurricular activities. The policy does not provide for religious exemptions. The student sought to block enforcement of the policy as violating the Free Exercise Clause because she was not able to obtain an exemption for religious reasons. The 9th Circuit held that the mandate was likely neutral and generally applicable, rather than singling out religious practice, and because of this, the district court was likely correct in applying rational basis review, a level of review which most laws/requirements will satisfy. Accordingly, the Ninth Circuit allowed the mandate to stand, pending further litigation. Read the full decision here.
View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – January 18, 2022.