Supreme Court blocks Biden’s vaccine mandate for large private companies, BYU still enforces

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BYU started requiring attendees of indoor campus events to show proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test to gain entrance. This came after the Supreme Court blocked Biden’s nationwide vaccine mandate. (Emma Keddington)

Starting Jan. 20 BYU is requiring attendees of indoor public events on campus to present proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to gain access to the event venue, despite the Supreme Court’s recent block of President Biden’s nationwide vaccine mandate.

“Consistent with the First Presidency Statement on vaccinations, BYU urges students, faculty, staff and campus guests to be vaccinated against COVID-19,” BYU said in a statement. “Available COVID-19 vaccines have proven to be both safe and effective.”

The Supreme Court on Jan. 13 blocked President Biden’s vaccine-or-test rule for large private companies. The rule, which had been reimplemented by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration just three days prior on Jan. 10, required employers with more than 100 workers to mandate vaccination or weekly testing and a mask requirement. 

Dozens of Republican state leaders sued Biden after the rule was enforced last year, which led to its halting in November by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In December the case was reassigned to the 6th Circuit, the rule reinstated and now blocked.

“I am disappointed that the Supreme Court has chosen to block common-sense life-saving requirements for employees at large businesses that were grounded squarely in both science and the law,” Biden said in a statement. “But that does not stop me from using my voice as president to advocate for employers to do the right thing to protect Americans’ health and economy.”

BYU, as a private religious non-profit organization and not a private corporation, is exempt from the mandate whether it had been blocked or not and can enforce their rules independent of last Thursday’s national lawmaking decision.

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