- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 20, 2022

A federal judge in Florida lashed out at unvaccinated potential jurors this week, calling them “selfish and unpatriotic” after he was forced to postpone a trial because he’d wanted to refuse to seat anyone who hadn’t gotten a COVID-19 shot.

“It is the court’s belief that the vast majority of the unvaccinated adults are uninformed and irrational, or — less charitably — selfish and unpatriotic,” Judge Robert N. Scola Jr., an Obama appointee, raged in an order issued Tuesday.

He had hoped to hold a trial on an automobile accident case starting Feb. 7, and had intended to block any jurors who have not been vaccinated. Lawyers and other case participants are also required to be vaccinated or to show a negative PCR test taken within 24 hours of the trial’s start.

But one of the parties in the case objected to the idea of blocking a class of jurors because of vaccination status.

The judge lashed out, saying most adults in the area are vaccinated, and the holdouts are endangering those around them.

“Whether uninformed and irrational or selfish and unpatriotic, no citizen is excused from considering their obligation to the health and well-being of their community,” he said.

Still, he caved on the issue, postponing the trial until May.

He said he feared if he had persevered with his ban on unvaccinated jurors he would open the case’s outcome to being overturned on appeal.

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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