Lawsuit filed against the University System of Maryland over vaccine mandates

Posted at 10:36 AM, Sep 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-21 07:10:08-04

BALTIMORE — A federal lawsuit has been filed against the University System of Maryland (USM) over vaccination mandates.

Two students and a state employee say the requirement violates their rights to personal autonomy, bodily integrity, and informed consent under the United States Constitution.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs write that the mandate "creates a new defacto suspect classification based on biology and establishes a system of disparate and discriminatory treatment towards individuals who are classified as unvaccinated in violation of the 14th Amendment."

RELATED: Maryland State Universities to require vaccinations for all on campus this fall

USM Chancellor Jay A. Perman announced the decision to require vaccinations back in April for all students, faculty, and staff on campus in the fall.

The mandate was based on the recommendation of a USM work group that includes university-based public health and infectious disease experts, and advice from all 12 System presidents among others.

A prior opinion form the Maryland Attorney General's Office indicated that state universities could legally mandate COVID-19 vaccines, but warned of potential court challenges along the way.

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to block a similar mandate implemented by Indiana University.

The lawsuit can be read below.