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Utah Joins Multistate Anti-Mask Mandate Efforts

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes is supporting efforts to protect individuals from mask mandates by joining an amicus brief on the mandate for Federal Contractor Employees and by signing onto a letter demanding President Biden rescind the Head Start mask mandate.

Head Start Mandate

In a letter to President Biden, AG Reyes and 22 other state attorneys general are demanding the end of the Head Start mask mandate.  In November 2021, the Biden Administration announced a regulation requiring the forced masking of children and toddlers as young as two years old—even outdoors—in participating schools and daycares. The attorneys general argue that the mandate subjects children and toddlers to arbitrary and inconsistent discipline for not wearing a mask and that it is long past time for the unconscionable policy to be rescinded.

The letter states: “Your mask mandate was wrong from the beginning. The World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund agree: ‘Children aged 5 years and under should not be required to wear masks. This is based on the safety and overall interest of the child’…mask use should be limited because of the ‘potential impact of wearing a mask on learning and psychosocial development.’”

The letter also points out that even the states with some of the most restrictive COVID-19 policies are now lifting indoor mask mandates at schools. If the mandate remains in place, the staff, children, and toddlers at Head Start programs will soon be among the only people in the country forced to wear masks.

Federal Contractor Mandate

In an effort to protect Utah workers’ rights, Attorney General Reyes is joining an effort against President Joe Biden’s federal contractor vaccine mandate. Attorney General Reyes joined 20 other state attorneys general in signing on to an amicus brief supporting the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s suit seeking an immediate end to the president’s unlawful mandate that requires federal contractors to ensure all employees receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The challenged vaccination requirements intrude on Utah state laws expressly restricting employer-vaccine mandates.

Florida Attorney General Moody filed the amicus brief in support of Kentucky’s multistate suit against the federal government in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The amicus brief argues that the challenged vaccination requirements improperly intrude on states’ traditional powers, especially in states, like Utah, with laws expressly restricting employer-vaccine mandates.

The filed amicus brief highlights the fact that President Biden’s executive order mandating vaccines for federal contractors represents an unauthorized exercise of regulatory power. It also argues the president failed to show that the mandate promotes economy and efficiency.

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