Newseum Institute > Has the Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of religious exemptions to state-compelled vaccination?
No Supreme Court ruling explicitly establishes a position on religious exemptions to state-compelled vaccination. However, it is clear from the Court’s establishment-clause rulings that it is unlikely for all such exemptions to be found in violation of the First Amendment. What is less clear is whether or not the Court would find the free-exercise clause to mandate the inclusion of religious exemptions. For this reason, the status of religious exemptions to state-compelled vaccinations is still very much unclear. What the Court has found, however, is that a state has the authority to require its citizens to receive certain inoculations. This authority was established in 1905 in Jacobson v. Massachusetts, where the Court ruled that Massachusetts had the authority to require its citizens to be inoculated against smallpox.
Category: Freedom of Religion