HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Attorney General William Tong released a statement about a decision today from the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals which eliminated religious exemptions to school vaccine requirements.

“This decision is a full and resounding affirmation of the constitutionality and legality of Connecticut’s vaccine requirements. Vaccines save lives—this is a fact beyond dispute,” Tong said. “The legislature acted responsibly and well within its authority to protect the health of Connecticut families and stop the spread of preventable disease. We will continue to vigorously defend our state’s strong and necessary public health laws.”

The plaintiffs of the case, We The Patriots USA, argued that Connecticut violated their First Amendment rights by removing he religious exemption.

We respectfully disagree with the Court’s conclusion that the removal of the religious exemption in Connecticut does not violate freedom of religion under the First Amendment, or the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law, among other things. We fully intend to seek review of this decision in the United States Supreme Court, to obtain equal justice for all children – not only in Connecticut, but in every state in the nation. Attorney General Tong’s assessment of the case is clearly inaccurate and reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the rights embodied in the First Amendment. We are confident that we will prevail on appeal to the Supreme Court, and that this dark period of religious discrimination in this country will finally come to a close. 

– We The Patriots USA spokesperson

Connecticut law requires certain immunizations before enrolling in school, including Hepatitis B and polio.