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School Religious Exemption Appeal Filed With U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.

The litigation was originally filed after Connecticut repealed its religious exemption in April 2021.

If we are victorious, the decision could restore religious freedom not only for families in Connecticut, but in other states where it's been lost, including California, New York, and Maine.”
— Attorney Brian Festa, Co-Founder, We The Patriots USA

WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES, December 11, 2023 /EINPresswire.com/ -- We The Patriots USA, a nationwide public interest law firm, filed a petition for certiorari with the United States Supreme Court on Monday, in a lawsuit that is seeking to strike down Connecticut's April 2021 repeal of its longstanding religious exemption to school vaccination requirements. The appeal to the nation's court was filed following the Second Circuit's dismissal of the lawsuit in August (Case No. 22-249-cv), and its denial of en banc (full bench) review in September. Judge Joseph F. Bianco, an appointee of President Donald J. Trump, dissented from the Second Circuit's 2-1 panel decision, asserting that "[n]either Supreme Court precedent nor this Court’s jurisprudence allows a court to so summarily cast aside the fundamental constitutional right of individuals to the free exercise of religion." The lawsuit also features three parent-plaintiffs, each of whom have children who were denied entry to school after Connecticut repealed its religious exemption, after the parents refused certain vaccinations for their children due to their religious beliefs.

Attorney Brian Festa, counsel of record on the petition and Co-Founder of We The Patriots USA - the lead plaintiff in the case - issued the following statement on Monday: "In April of 2021, within hours of Connecticut's religious exemption repeal bill being signed into law by Governor Lamont, we stood on the steps of the Connecticut Supreme Court and promised to take this case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary. Today, we have kept that promise. If we are victorious, the decision could restore religious freedom not only for families in Connecticut, but in other states where it's been lost, including California, New York, and Maine."

Attorney Cameron Atkinson, lead counsel in the lawsuit, also issued a statement on Monday: "Today, we ask the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the unthinkable: statewide vaccination mandates that do not provide religious exemptions. While today’s case focuses on school vaccination mandates, it asks the Court to protect the religious liberty of every American – whether they are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, etc. – to refuse vaccinations that violate their consciences. That religious liberty starts with our children and their right to attend school without abandoning their faith. If the Supreme Court declines to hear this case or says the lower courts got it right, religious liberty will perish in the United States, and the three strong mothers of faith and their children will become second class citizens in our society because of their faith.”

We The Patriots USA is a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization that relies exclusively on public donations to support its work.

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