(LibertySociety.com) – In August, Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX) issued an executive order prohibiting federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates and passports in the Lonestar State. In October, he went a step further, writing another order stating no entity in Texas could force an employee or customer to show proof of vaccination. Although the leader said “the COVID-19 vaccine is safe” and effective, he believes compliance should be voluntary, not mandatory, and certainly not enforced by anyone. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) said the governor is well within his rights to address these issues. He went on to say President Joe Biden doesn’t have the “authority to force companies” to comply.
When the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released its mandate requiring all businesses with 100 employees or more to enforce vaccination mandates on those employees or require their workers to submit to regular testing, the Texas governor filed a petition with the courts to fight the demand.
The Biden administration seems confident the courts will uphold the mandates. White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said the government is just trying to protect workers and save lives.
Other States Join the Fight
Abbott isn’t the only leader fighting for his constituents’ American freedoms. On November 5, just 8 hours after OSHA issued its rule, 25 states joined Texas in filing lawsuits to prevent the mandate. Some said the move was a federal government power grab and disregarded the sovereignty of individual states in the union. Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said the mandate is “unconstitutional, unlawful, and unwise.”
The US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed because, on November 14, it permanently blocked the federal organization from implementing its vaccine rule for private businesses. However, that doesn’t mean the court’s decision will stand. Since multiple cases were pending on the same issue, a blind lottery took place, choosing the 6th Circuit Court to rule on the mandate.
Federal or State?
While the government may or may not have the best intentions of helping the citizens of the United States return to normalcy, that’s not really the principle at stake here. Suppose the appeals court lifts the stay and allows the federal government to dictate the practices of private businesses within states. In that case, it may blur the lines of sovereignty and set a precedent allowing federal overreach.
Whether or not you believe mandates are necessary or effective, who do you think should have the power to decide: the federal government, the states themselves, or individuals?
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