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Merchant Marine Academy cadets sue the federal government over a vaccine mandate

Merchant Marine Academy incoming Class of 2018
LCDR Amber Lewis
U.S. Navy
Midshipmen and plebe candidates stand in formation at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point on Long Island. The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

Six cadets at the Merchant Marine Academy on Long Island have filed a lawsuit against the academy and the federal government over the college's COVID-19 vaccine mandate, claiming it violates their constitutional right to due process.

The academy mandated that all cadets be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by December 28, or they face getting kicked out of school. The mandate has no exceptions for mask-wearing or weekly tests.

The students alleged that school officials have threatened that unvaccinated students could be forced to pay back their federally-funded tuition. The lawsuit claimed the students are in a unique position because their credits are not transferable to other universities.

Several other lawsuits challenging vaccine mandates at colleges are currently working their way through the courts.

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.