Religious Freedom Cannot Take A Back Seat To Vaccine Mandates: We The Patriots USA, Inc., et. al. v. Connecticut Office of Early Childhood Development et al.

On August 9, 2021, my colleagues and I filed the brief below in opposition to the state of Connecticut’s efforts to outlaw people of faith from society. Due to arcane admission rules at the federal district court in Connecticut, my name does not appear on this brief, but I am proud to have authored this opposition. I look forward to sharpening it in the appeals that follow, and I can assure you that my name will appear on those briefs. We expect that this case will ultimately make its way to the United States Supreme Court.

This case has drawn significant amicus attention from various interest groups across the United States. Some have accused our clients of arguing for a right to expose their children to harm. Others have urged the Court to banish religion from the public sphere under the auspices of separating church and state. Not a single public interest organization, however, has been courageous enough to step forward in support of our clients.

Our message is simple. Wake up. We are losing our religious liberty step by step, and Connecticut’s actions here represent one of the boldest, unconstitutional acts of hostility toward religion that the United States has ever seen. Now is the time to fight. The opening to our brief is below:

The Defendants and proposed amici deliberately ignore the central issue raised in this case. Connecticut Public Act No. 21-6 requires the Defendants to deny Connecticut children, including the Plaintiffs’ children, any access to education in Connecticut if they do not abandon their religious beliefs and comply with the state of Connecticut’s mandate that they receive vaccinations. Declining vaccinations on religious grounds bars the Plaintiffs’ children from public and private schools, colleges, daycares, and other educational activities, and, if the Defendants take an even more heavy-handed approach, Connecticut Public Act No. 21-6 and other educational statutes and regulations would also permit the Defendants to require parents who homeschool their children to vaccinate them in accordance with their mandate. In other words, the Plaintiffs and every other similarly situated Connecticut parent faces an unthinkable choice: abandon their religious beliefs of forego educating their children.

This harsh hostility toward people of faith is not a reasonable effort to protect Connecticut children. It represents a naked attempt to outlaw people of faith from society while disguising their banishment as being in the public interest. Whatever the Defendants’ asserted interest in protecting public health is, it does not extend to imposing Cornellian dilemmas in violation of the United States Constitution.

Plaintiffs’ Opposition To Defendants’ Motions To Dismiss, We The Patriots USA, Inc., et. al. v. Connecticut Office of Early Childhood Development et al.; No. 3:21-cv-00597

Cameron L. Atkinson

Cameron Atkinson is a Christian, a published constitutional scholar, a trial and appellate lawyer, and a general hell-raiser. He has received national recognition for his victories in civil rights cases, especially in First Amendment cases. Attorney Atkinson stands out for his written advocacy, and he has taken the lead role in briefing cases to the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the Connecticut Supreme Court, the Connecticut Appellate Court, and multiple New York appellate courts. Attorney Atkinson has successfully represented clients facing criminal charges, including successfully arguing for the reversal of a sexual assault conviction before the Connecticut Supreme Court. He will accept requests for public speaking engagements on a case-by-case basis.

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