The Freedom From Religion Foundation is delighted to announce its fourth annual essay competition for law school students.
Law students are invited to submit a no more than 1,500 word essay on why religious exemptions from vaccine requirements are not required. The contest will award $10,000 in prize money, with $4,000 for first place, $3,000 for second and $2,000 for third place, plus $500 discretionary awards for honorable mentions.
People who oppose Covid-19 vaccines for political or other reasons are now abusing religious exemptions in order to flout vaccine mandates. Against this backdrop, lawsuits have surged, challenging vaccine requirements on religious grounds and arguing that the First Amendment requires religious exemptions.
Entrants to the law school essay competition are being asked to craft an argument that religious exemptions from vaccine requirements are not legally required — addressing constitutional questions as well as other legal issues raised by such mandates.
The contest is open to ongoing law school students attending a North American law school, except those starting law school for the first time in the fall of 2022. Students remain eligible to enter this contest if they will graduate from law school by spring or summer of 2022.
Eligible entrants will receive a complimentary copy of the book, The Lord Was Not on Trial: The Inside Story of the Supreme Court’s Precedent-Setting McCollum Ruling, by Dan McCollum, and a one-year complimentary student membership in FFRF, including a digital version of 10 issues of Freethought Today, FFRF’s newspaper, which publishes winning student essays. The deadline is midnight on March 15, 2022.
Contest entrants must fill out an application form online, which also details other requirements, and attach their essay.
“The unprecedented challenges against mandatory vaccinations, and corollary demand for religious exemptions, are threatening to derail Covid-19 mitigation policy in the United States,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “We eagerly look forward to reading all the erudite secular-minded essays espousing a reason-based public health care policy.”
The Freedom From Religion Foundation strongly encourages law students to enter the contest.