NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Two Connecticut families filed a lawsuit to allow their children with religious exemptions from vaccinations to register for kindergarten and pre-K in September 2022.
The lawsuit challenges Connecticut’s Religious Exemption repeal law, which Gov. Ned Lamont signed in 2021. It restricts the right to education of students with religious exemptions.
Two families, each with two children, are plaintiffs in the case. They claim education is a constitutional right and that vaccination mandates for school and religious exemptions have co-existed in the state for 60 years without causing infectious disease outbreaks, citing the state data.
Connecticut is one of 21 states with a state-level Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which requires the highest level of judicial scrutiny for laws that burden religious liberty. Connecticut is the first state with an RFRA law to repeal a religious exemption.
New York, California, and Maine have also repealed religious exemption laws, but those states do not have a state RFRA law.