Federal court issues TRO to protect vaccines religious exemption for Western Michigan University Soccer Team

Plaintiffs are four members of the women’s soccer team at Western Michigan
University (WMU). On August 12, 2021, around 6 p.m., the Athletic Director for WMU,
Defendant Kathy Beauregard, sent a text requiring all individuals involved in the athletic
department, including student athletes, receive one of the COVID-19 vaccines by August 31, 2021.

Plaintiffs each submitted requests for religious accommodations explaining that their sincerely held religious beliefs would be compromised if they were to receive the required vaccination. WMU denied all four requests, asserting
the University’s “compelling interest” and explaining that “prohibiting unvaccinated members of the team from engaging in practices and competition is the only effective manner of accomplishing this compelling interest.” (See, e.g., ECF No. 1-9 PageID.48.) WMU’s responses state that the players will not be able to participate in intercollegiate sports. WMU also states that the players will not lose their scholarship for the academic year.
Plaintiffs sued alleging constitutional and statutory violations. Plaintiffs request a
temporary restraining order. The Court will grant Plaintiffs’ request

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