Today, visiting Judge Wolson issued an opinion and order declining to exclude jurors without up-to-date COVID-19 vaccines. The government had requested to exclude those jurors to prevent trial disruptions due to COVID-19.
The opinion was issued in a criminal case, but the language would seem to apply to civil cases as well; the denial was based largely on the difficulty of assembling jury pool in Delaware who are current on their vaccines:
A vaccination requirement along the lines the Government proposes could hamper the Court’s ability to assemble a jury. Current statistics suggest that only 34% of Delaware residents over the age of 18 have received booster shots. 1 That includes 65% of those who are over the age of 65, many of whom are not part of the jury pool because of their age. The result of excluding from the jury pool a large number of people with a high vaccination rate will be to lower the rate of people over the age of 18 in the remaining pool. There could be additional members of the jury pool who are eligible because they received their vaccinations recently. But in any event, the numbers suggest that a vaccine requirement along the lines the Government proposes would exclude nearly 2/3 of potential jurors from the jury pool.
The Court also noted that jury service is an important right ...