Virginia universities drop vax mandates after new Republican AG issues legal opinion

President Joe Biden and his administration continue to take embarrassing losses on the COVID-19 vaccine mandate front, and what just happened in Virginia is yet more proof that Americans overwhelmingly reject the idea of being told what to inject into their bodies.

According to Fox News, within his first weeks of being the commonwealth’s newly elected Republican Attorney General Jason Miyares immediately tackled the issues that matter most in his state. His first official legal opinion was issued last week, in which he clearly expressed that he believes COVID-19 vaccination requirements for students to attend in-person classes at the state’s public universities is nothing short of illegal. 

As a result, the three largest universities in Virginia, including George Mason University, Virginia Tech, and the University of Mary Washington recently reformed their previously strict and burdensome vaccination requirements after Miyares’ legal opinion on the matter was revealed.

While the schools still highly encourage students to receive COVID-19 vaccinations, they will no longer punish those who refuse to do so.

The AG’s opinion

Miyares held nothing back in his first legal opinion, noting that because of the university’s “public corporation” status, they lack the legal standing to bar unvaccinated students from in-person classes.

Virginia’s public institutions of higher education are public corporations,” the new AG wrote.

He added: “As such, they are afforded separate corporate status but remain under control of the General Assembly and may only exercise such powers as the General Assembly has expressly conferred or necessarily implied.”

In other words, without the state legislature’s blessing on matters such as vaccine mandates, the schools simply do not have the authority to issue such requirements.

Polices quickly modified

It only took a matter of days for the aforementioned state universities to implement new policies regarding COVID-19 vaccine mandates for students.

“Proof of vaccination against COVID-19 is no longer a condition of students’ enrollment or in-person attendance, nor will unvaccinated or eligible unboosted students be subject to separate testing requirements,” a memo from the University of Mary Washington read.

“Given our high vaccination rate, the continued decline of the omicron variant, the Governor’s recent executive orders and directives, and the recent Attorney General’s opinion, we will now strongly encourage vaccination protocols for all Mason students, faculty, and staff, though we no longer require them,” the president of George Mason University wrote.

Hopefully, Miyares’ opinion will set a new precedent for other AG’s around the country, and eventually help contribute to the end of the COVID-19 vaccine hysteria.

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