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Ninth Circuit reinstates LA school employees' challenge to vax mandate

by WorldTribune Staff, June 10, 2024 Contract With Our Readers

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday reversed the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) employees challenging the district's Covid vaccine mandate.

The suit was remanded back to the District Court level, where it will proceed toward trial.

The LAUSD employees argue that what's commonly known as the Covid-19 vaccine isn't a vaccine at all as it does not prevent transmission of the virus. Instead, the employees argue, the shot is a therapeutic and as such can't be mandated by law.

A District Court judge had ruled that a 1905 Supreme Court ruling (Jacobson v. Massachusetts) related to mandatory smallpox vaccination allowed the Covid vax mandate.

The Ninth Circuit panel ruled that, taking the employees' pleadings as true (which they must at this point in the proceedings), Jacobson does not apply and that employees can't be forced to receive "treatment" they don't want to receive.

Public health officials such as CDC Director Rochelle Walensky had confirmed before LAUSD's mandate on August 13, 2021 that the Covid mRNA injection does not prevent transmission of the virus.

In congressional testimony this past week, Anthony Fauci admitted that the Covid vaccine didn't stop transmission of the virus.

Los Angeles attorney Julie Hamill, who represented the LA Parents' Alliance in a lawsuit challenging vaccine and mask mandates and social media censorship of mandate critics, broke down the ruling:
Much like LADPH and other authoritarian government agencies, LAUSD had a pattern of withdrawing and then reinstating its vaccination policies. According to the Court, this pattern was enough to keep the case alive. "The record supported a strong inference that LAUSD waited to see how the oral argument in this court proceeded before determining whether to maintain the Policy or to go forward with a pre-prepared repeal option.LAUSD expressly reserved the option to again consider imposing a vaccine mandate. Accordingly, LAUSD has not carried its heavy burden to show that there is no reasonable possibility that it will again revert to imposing a similar policy."

The mootness argument was rejected. Then, we get to the real juice. "[T]he district court misapplied the Supreme Court’s decision in Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905), in concluding that the Policy survived rational basis review. Jacobson held that mandatory vaccinations were rationally related to preventing the spread of smallpox. Here, however, plaintiffs allege that the vaccine does not effectively prevent spread but only mitigates symptoms for the recipient and therefore is akin to a medical treatment, not a 'traditional' vaccine. Taking plaintiffs’ allegations as true at this stage of litigation, plaintiffs plausibly alleged that the COVID-19 vaccine does not effectively “prevent the spread” of COVID-19. Thus, Jacobson does not apply."

In the decision, Judge Ryan D. Nelson, a Trump appointee, wrote the the District Court had misapplied Jacobson, which "held that mandatory vaccinations were rationally related to 'preventing the spread' of smallpox. Jacobson, however, did not involve a claim in which the compelled vaccine was 'designed to reduce symptoms in the infected vaccine recipient rather than to prevent transmission and infection.'

The district court thus erred in holding that Jacobson extends beyond its public health rationale — government’s power to mandate prophylactic measures aimed at preventing the recipient from spreading disease to others — to also govern 'forced medical treatment' for the recipient’s benefit."

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