It’s no secret that Democrats love to ignore the pesky Constitution when grabbing power and control of American citizens. One of the biggest overreaches in recent history was the controversial vaccine mandate, used to bludgeon a doubting nation into submission.
The Biden administration put a shine on the mandates with a glossy coat of wax, hoping to make them palatable to the public.
The stated primary objective was to safeguard public health by curbing the transmission of the virus and preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and fatalities. The administration also dangled the hope of herd immunity in front of the willing sheep, claiming that the vaccine would shield those who couldn’t receive the vaccine due to medical reasons and help create a barrier to the virus’s ability to spread.
It’s clear that the Biden administration underestimated the rigorous pushback from informed and outraged citizens. The constitutionality of these mandates, as well as their efficacy in controlling the virus, was quickly called into question, and the legal battles began.
The constitutionality of mandating vaccines was on shaky ground, to begin with. The mandates infringed upon personal freedoms, including the right to make medical decisions for oneself.
The mandates were also a violation of due process and equal protection, as they divided vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals and treated them differently, severely curbing the freedoms of those who chose to remain unvaccinated. Additionally, there were not enough protections in place for those with medical exemptions, and while not a constitutional issue, being forced to disclose those exemptions was a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
There have been many legal challenges in court, but historically, with very few wins. Many of them involved exemptions for health and religious reasons. One huge victory on that front occurred last year in Illinois, where healthcare workers sued the NorthShore University Health System for their refusal to honor any exemptions. The workers received a $10.3 million settlement from the organization. The win was a victory financially but also forced the healthcare system to reexamine its prior decisions to fire employees for noncompliance. Many workers were reinstated following the decision.
The military’s vaccine requirements have been questioned since the beginning, with Navy SEALS filing a lawsuit stating that the process of filing for a religious exemption was deliberately cumbersome and the requests were “categorically denied.”
Recently, however, the validity of Biden’s vaccine mandates has been going down in flames. The latest victory is in Texas, where Texas Guardsmen successfully challenged, and won, Biden’s extreme mandates.
Governor Greg Abbott, it turns out, is the only commander-in-chief that can make decisions for the Texas Guardsmen unless they have been called into federal service. In times of peace, Biden overstepped his bounds when he dictated punishment for non-compliance for the Texas militia.
At the heart of the legal battle, filed in January of 2022, was a simple premise. Per the lawsuit, “Because the Military Vaccine Mandate will lead to the loss of these Guardsmen from Governor Abbott’s command, and the State’s militia, the harm to the State is inevitable.”
In addition, the suit called into question the constitutionality of a vaccine requirement, as well as the violation of a law dictating how agency procedures and policies are rolled out.
Abbott wasn’t alone in filing the suit. Governor Kevin Stitt entered the same legal battle in Oklahoma, although that suit didn’t end in a victory for his state.
While initially the suit was dismissed, a Federal Court of Appeals ruled on June 15, 2023, ruled in the Texas Guardsmen’s favor. The federal government overstepped its boundaries and violated constitutional rights by attempting to punish members for non-compliance. The federal punishments for noncompliance included the prohibition of drills, withholding pay, court-martial, and discharge.
The Biden administration claimed that the mandate was necessary to maintain a prepared military, but the 2023 repeal of the mandate indicated that there was no correlation to “military readiness.” To make matters worse, the administration threatened punishment for past noncompliance after the mandates were lifted.
Texas has been at the forefront of several victories against Biden’s mandates. In 2022, a federal district court judge found that federal workers suing over the vaccine mandates were entitled to a nationwide preliminary injunction and that they were likely to win based on the merits of the case. In addition, Texas recently won a suit against mandates for federal contractors.
Now that the mandates have been lifted, it’s widely hoped that Democrats will finally let go of their jab power trip. But with so many people’s lives and livelihoods destroyed, we can also hope that each suit sees its day in court.