A US District Court on Friday denied a temporary restraining order sought by 130 Chicago firefighters and other city employees against COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the city of Chicago.
Although district judge John Lee did not dismiss the lawsuit in its entirety, he explained in Friday’s ruling that the city employees had not shown a likelihood of success on any of the suit’s claims as the implemented policies do not appear to violate the workers’ constitutional rights. Judge Lee provided specific examples in his ruling, such as he saw no evidence that either Mayor Lori Lightfoot or Governor Pritzker exceeded their authority by imposing vaccination mandates and he believed there was a lack of scientific evidence to support the contention that the natural immunity for people who had the virus is superior to the protection from the vaccine.
Judge Lee relied on a decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit when making his judgment. This summer, students and employees of Indiana University presented a similar argument to the Seventh Circuit pertaining to the unconstitutionality of forcing individuals to receive unwanted medical treatment. The case was appealed to the US Supreme Court, which denied the application for emergency writ of injunction, affirming the circuit court’s finding. The decision in that case held that COVID-19 vaccine mandates were not unconstitutional and allowed the school to proceed with its plan to require students and employees to get vaccinated for COVID-19.
This ruling comes the same day as the Chicago City Council shot down a proposed ordinance that would weaken the city workers’ vaccine mandate.