UAB backs down, but First Liberty isn't done

Friday, June 4, 2021
 | 
Bob Kellogg (OneNewsNow.com)

gavel with Bible 1A University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) student was not permitted to register for her sophomore year until a religious rights legal organization stepped in.

Jackie Gale, who has attended Alabama public schools since moving to Alabama in the second grade and received from the Alabama state health department a religious exemption card that excuses her from the state's vaccine requirements for K-12 public students, has never been vaccinated in her life. She was allowed to attend her freshman year of college, but then the school said she was expected to meet state vaccination requirements before continuing her education there.

Attorney Christine Pratt of First Liberty Institute says exemptions are made for medical or other reasons, but not for religion.

"If you're going to allow some people not to be vaccinated, which is perfectly reasonable, by the way, the reason for it shouldn't matter," Pratt submits. "You should treat religious people the same as you treat anyone else."

Pratt

After receiving a demand letter from First Liberty, UAB decided to allow Gale to register. Even so, Pratt says the matter is not closed.

"We are continuing to have ongoing discussions with the university, because they don't say anywhere on their website anything at all about religious exemptions," the attorney explains.

In its demand letter, First Liberty pointed out that a policy mandating vaccinations violates both Alabama's Constitution and the U.S. Constitution. Thus, the letter argues, UAB's policy "triggers, and subsequently fails, strict scrutiny under recent Supreme Court precedent interpreting the Free Exercise Clause" [and] "impermissibly burdens Gale's religious exercise" under the state's Religious Freedom Amendment.

Comments

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWS BRIEF

FEATURED PODCAST

VOTE IN OUR POLL

Which high-profile GOP senator would you choose to replace Mitch McConnell?

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

Hard-line judiciary head wins Iran presidency as turnout low
Opioid abuse up during pandemic, expert tells Utah County
Editor, CEO denied bail in Apple Daily case in Hong Kong
US Catholic bishops OK steps toward possible rebuke of Biden
3 dead, 2 missing after tubers go over North Carolina dam
Gulf coast braces for tropical storm with heavy rain

LATEST FROM THE WEB

Texas Gov. Abbott fulfills promise, vetoes state legislature funding
Major cities ‘refund the police’ as crime skyrockets and businesses backfire
Atlanta's proposed police training facility ignites protests, activists go to city council member’s house
Entire Portland police riot squad resigns after officer charged
School urges students to report peers, teachers for 'microaggressions'

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day
NEXT STORY
Could the Philly ruling help First Amendment fight?

U.S. Supreme Court w/ flagA U.S. Supreme Court ruling that sided with a Catholic organization could help other Christian plaintiffs and defendants preserve their First Amendment rights, says an attorney familiar with all of those court battles.