written by Adam Dick
Maybe Texas Governor Greg Abbott was influenced by the billboards that appeared around Texas last month urging people to resist bullying regarding experimental coronavirus “vaccine” shots and to instead make their own informed choices. Maybe Abbott perceived the strong opposition among voters to the increasingly harsh measures being taken to push the shots on people. Maybe Abbott’s conscience urged him to act. No matter the reason, Abbott on Monday took a stand for the rights of Texans. Abbott issued an executive order in contradiction to a mandate President Biden announced in September that employers require employees to take the shots. Abbott also added to the agenda of the state legislature’s ongoing special session consideration of legislation similar to the executive order.
In a “whereas” clause of his executive order, Abbott calls out Biden for bullying regarding the shots, declaring, “in yet another instance of federal overreach, the Biden Administration is now bullying many private entities into imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates, causing workforce disruptions that threaten Texas’ s continued recovery from the COVID- 19 disaster.” Abbott’s answer to this bullying is to declare that people have access to a broad range for exemptions from any mandates by their employers or other entities that they take any coronavirus vaccines. Children in Texas have similar broad exemptions available in regard to the many shots mandated for school attendance. The executive order states:
No entity in Texas can compel receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine by any individual, including an employee or a consumer, who objects to such vaccination for any reason of personal conscience, based on a religious belief, or for medical reasons, including prior recovery from COVID-19. I hereby suspend all relevant statutes to the extent necessary to enforce this prohibition.
A personal conscience exemption is a broad exemption that pretty much equates with a right to just say no.
While medical exemptions tend to be narrow, the executive order’s inclusion of people who have had coronavirus expands the exemption to apply to millions of Texans.
Many companies have been jumping to impose coronavirus vaccine requirements on their employees since Biden’s September 9 announcement of a United States government mandate. But, Biden has not followed up his bluster with legal action. As Jeffrey A. Tucker detailed in an October 6 Brownstone Institute article, while there are “plenty of statements by Biden and administration spokespeople,” there is neither an executive order nor regulations imposing the mandate. Weighing following the Texas governor’s executive order, likely soon to be followed by state legislation, versus following Biden’s bluster, companies would be smart to follow the executive order.
Suppose Biden backs his mandate with an executive order or regulations, or the US Congress adopts legislation imposing Biden’s declared mandate. Still, Texas law may be supreme in this instance. Courts have viewed state governments as having more expansive powers related to health matters than the US government. Further, Biden’s announced mandate appears to run counter to much court precedent in favor of protecting privacy and bodily integrity. Legal analyst Andrew Napolitano provided a good introduction to this precedent in an editorial last week in which he concluded, “under current Supreme Court rulings, we all can decide for ourselves what medications to take, while the government takes a hike.”
Yeah. Take a hike, Biden and your mandate.
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