Tennessee AG is right to challenge Biden’s vaccine mandate


November 5, 2021 2:06PM

On Friday, the Biden administration rolled out its rules to force employees at private businesses to be vaccinated—or be subject to onerous and repetitive testing at their own cost—to continue working. The rules apply to companies with over 100 employees, but the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) is already considering similar rules for smaller businesses. 

A flurry of lawsuits have been filed to halt the new OSHA rules and protect American workers from potentially losing their jobs. Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery announced today that he and the attorneys general for seven other states have filed a lawsuit challenging the mandate. Beacon wholeheartedly agrees with the AG’s opposition to this federal overreach and plans to provide legal support to the state’s lawsuit. 

Regardless of your opinion of COVID-19 vaccines, the federal government does not have the constitutional authority to impose this mandate, nor should it do so even if it did. I am fully vaccinated and encourage others to get vaccinated if they and their doctor determine it’s in their best interest. But a one-size-fits-all decree from Washington is not the way to encourage vaccination. It will only lead to more distrust of a government that has failed us time and again throughout the pandemic. And it will lead to people losing their jobs at a time when businesses are in desperate need of more people to enter the workforce. 

The economic consequences of this draconian mandate aside, where in the U.S. Constitution does the president—much less a single agency under his purview—have the authority to force such a mandate on private businesses? And if President Biden can mandate a vaccine, what else can the federal government require us to do in order to keep our job? Those who support this mandate should think twice about what’s next because their guy isn’t always going to be in the White House, and they may not like what the next president requires them to do with their livelihoods at stake.

Ronald Reagan once said, “The closest thing to eternal life on Earth is a government program.” If we don’t stand up against this egregious overreach, it will set a dangerous precedent for the federal government to intrude into our workplaces and our lives for years to come. That’s why we plan to stand alongside our attorney general and others who are fighting back.