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Press Release

For Immediate Release

Children’s Health Defense Chairman Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Files an Appeal in the 3rd Circuit Challenging Rutgers University’s Vaccine Mandate

Washington, D.C. — On Jan. 10, attorneys for Children’s Health Defense (CHD) filed an appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit challenging the New Jersey District Court judge’s Sep. 22, 2022 dismissal of CHD’s Aug. 16, 2021 lawsuit against Rutgers and university officials for their COVID-19 vaccine requirement for students to attend classes, whether in person or remotely. The mandate that began at the start of the 2021 Fall semester now requires full vaccination and boosters for students, faculty and staff.

The appeal seeks a finding that the district court erred by misapplying the applicable standard of review to students’ due process and equal protection challenges. It also seeks to show that the court failed to accept the Plaintiffs’ allegations as true, as it must on a motion to dismiss. Appellants also contest the court’s decision that students with religious exemptions lacked standing, finding that their claims were moot.

The appeal disputes that Rutgers was delegated police power to mandate experimental COVID-19 vaccines. Additionally, Rutgers Policy is preempted by federal law.

There are national implications for all students in colleges and universities across the country because appellants ask the court to answer a fundamental question: “Does a university have the legal authority to coerce a student’s consent to a highly invasive injection of a yet-to-be-fully investigated experimental vaccine that does not prevent the spread of disease and poses risk of serious harm?” CHD and the thirteen students that filed this appeal say no, they don’t.

The appeal brief states, “To this day these injections have not been tested to prove that they minimize outbreaks. Rutgers knows this well as Rutgers is carrying out clinical trials for all three vaccine manufacturers, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.”

Representing the Appellants in addition to Mr. Kennedy are  New Jersey Attorney Julio Gomez, CHD Senior Counsel Ray Flores and CHD President and General Counsel Mary Holland.

“It’s unacceptable for Rutgers or any other school to coerce students and employees to take experimental medications to attend school or to be employed,” said Holland. “We are confident that this vaccine mandate will ultimately be found unconstitutional.”

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Children’s Health Defense is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Our mission is to end childhood health epidemics by working aggressively to eliminate harmful exposures, hold those responsible accountable and establish safeguards to prevent future harm. For more information or to donate to CHD, visit

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