Why Amy Coney Barrett's Decision On Vaccine Mandates Has The Internet Divided

When Indiana University (IU) decided to make it a must that all who returned to school in the fall — from faculty to students and staff — needed to be vaccinated, eight students took it upon themselves to take action against school. While six of them already had religious exemptions, the group went ahead and sued the university anyway, claiming that the university was "coercing students to give up their rights to bodily integrity, autonomy, and of medical treatment choice in exchange for the discretionary benefit of matriculating at IU." They further claimed — without basis — that the vaccine would prove to be more harmful to them than to become sick with COVID-19 itself (via The Washington Post). 

The case went all the way to the Supreme Court and into the lap of conservative justice and Donald Trump-appointee Amy Coney Barrett, for no other reason than the fact that she oversees emergency petitions which are filed in the jurisdiction where IU sits. Coney Barrett has since rejected the group's petition, effectively throwing the case out. Her decision carries weight, because it is the first involving vaccination mandates to make it to the highest court in the country.

Anti-vaccination groups denounced Amy Coney Barrett for her stated position

The decision handed down from Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett appears to be the shot heard round the anti-vaxx world, as a wave of disappointment engulfed it, and drew many to social media to express their disappointment in the conservative, Trump-appointed justice. "Forced vaccination on students went from a conspiracy theory to a reality. Amy Coney Barrett should be ashamed of herself. Forcing kids to get a new coronavirus jab? Beyond evil," one social media user fumed. Another lashed out saying, "Amy Coney Barrett is a coward and traitor." A third said, "Amy Coney Barrett continues to show she never deserved the job in the first place. What a waste of a Supreme Court appointee.

But the vilification of Coney Barrett confused more than a few members of the Twitterverse, with one pointing out that, "All Justice Barrett did was uphold ESTABLISHED laws against people who spread disease. There is always online school for those who refuse to get vaccinated. What part of that statement don't they get?"

Another Twitter user thought to remind Coney Barrett's critics that, "A lotta Trump supporters don't seem to understand that [Brett] Kavanaugh and ACB are *conservatives*. Meaning, they're not really loyal to the Trump movement. Thankfully."