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University of South Carolina allowed to implement mask mandate: court

The South Carolina Supreme Court on Tuesday gave the University of South Carolina the green light to implement a mask mandate on its campus.

The debate around the implementation of a mask mandate was sparked by comments from South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, who said a mask mandate wouldn’t be allowed under the state’s budget proviso, The Associated Press reported.

However, the judges ruled unanimously in favor of the school implementing a mask mandate.

The judges agreed the proviso says a mask mandate can not be enforced among only the unvaccinated.

“In fact, the proviso implicitly contemplates there could be a universal mask mandate, but its terms prohibit only discrimination against unvaccinated individuals by requiring them to wear masks when vaccinated individuals are exempt from that requirement,” the court’s opinion says.

Wilson had previously argued the school couldn’t implement a mask mandate since the budget proviso stated schools couldn’t use appropriated funds to “require that its students have received the COVID-19 vaccination in order to be present at the institution’s facilities without being required to wear a facemask,” according to the AP.

The school is currently encouraging masks indoors due to Wilson’s opinion, and it is unclear if a mask mandate will be implemented in light of the court’s ruling.

Schools are battling in court in Republican states where governors have banned them from requiring masks.

Mask mandates in schools have majority support in the country, according to a new Axios-Ipsos poll, but the support is among partisan lines.

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