Federal agency announces creation of list of employees who object to vaccine on religious grounds

The tiny Pretrial Services Agency says it will begin documenting "personal religious information" of its vaccine-objecting employees
President Joe Biden

The Pretrial Services Agency in Washington, D.C., will begin collecting the "personal religious information" of employees who refuse to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on religious grounds.

The agency, which assists judicial officers within the District's court system, announced earlier this week that it will create the "Employee Religious Exception Request Information System."

The small agency said the system of records is being created "in response to religious accommodation requests for religious exception from the federally mandated vaccination requirement in the context of a public health emergency."

The constitutionality of two of the federal government's vaccine mandates are issues the Supreme Court took up last week when the justices heard several hours of oral arguments about the mandates. 

The fear among some watching the actions of the Pretrial Services Agency is that the newly established database could serve as a template and an example for the rest of government to create lists of Americans who have declined a COVID vaccine.

The agency says having such a list will "assist ... in the collecting, storing, dissemination, and disposal of employee religious exemption request information collected and maintained by the Agency."

It is unclear for exactly what purpose the agency thinks it needs the information.