“Those who give up essential liberty for perceived safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” - Benjamin Franklin
On Friday, January 7, when I had to turn this opinion piece in, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) was hearing oral arguments on two cases involving vaccine mandates pushed by the Biden regime. There are many questions swirling in everyone’s head, of course, but the basic one is this: does the Executive Branch have the authority to, in effect, declare 1/3 of the nation must inject themselves with an experimental gene therapy that does not stop the spread, slow the spread, prevent you from getting it, prevent hospitalization or death or stop the strain from mutating and requires, based on latest discussion for this fall, four shots in one year in order for you to have a job and support your family because two shots is not fully vaccinated.
Safety is the watch word here. OSHA provides workplace safety guidance and regulations and Biden has decided that that safety can be expanded to include outside the workplace since you can’t take the vaccine out once you leave the office the way you can say, a mask.
Currently, this distinction is lost on Justice Sotomayor who has said during the arguments before the bench that OSHA mandating the vaccine is no different than requiring masks or even requiring a bed to be a certain height in a hospital. Then again, she seems to feel like humans can be regulated like a machine since she posed the question “why is a human not like a machine which OSHA can regulate if it’s spewing a virus?” So there’s that opinion.
Justice Thomas had a very pointed question: has the law ever been used to mandate a federal vaccine? And the answer from the administrations’ attorney was, of course, no... with a caveat “but this is a unique situation.” And there is it. The “but” in the room. The freedoms of American citizens (but not illegal aliens because they can pour across the border, fly in airplanes to other states and never be required to have the vaccine) enshrined in the Constitution are good until. Until what? Fear pours in? People get a virus? People die from said virus? Either we believe that certain rights are endowed by our Creator or they only come from the government. And if they are from the government, then that “right” has an asterisks next to it and you can therefore be regulated into compliance. Or you lose your job.
Some of the Supremes were concerned that by expanding the application of guidelines, there is no power OSHA can’t have. By not clearly defining when the “emerging danger” is gone, the mandate can stay in place for decades and be expanded. When Justice Barrett posed the length of time this would be in effect, the federal defense had no date, time or real peramater to measure it. So yes, Bandera reader, indefinitely.
And where would that go? Are those who have decided their own, personal, medical health does not warrant the gene therapy now to submit to weekly testing? And if the employer cannot afford that, does that cost now go to the employee? And your personal medical history is no longer private since only the unvaccinated will be required to wear a mask at all times. What assurances do we have that further encroachment on our liberties will not happen?
Goodness the case Jacobson v Massachusetts which many are using as proof the government can mandate vaccines, merely upheld the right for a state, not federal government, to impose a fine (which was $5 by the way, not loss of a job) but was stretched in 1927 in Buck v Bell to include forced sterilizations with the SCOTUS stating “the principle that sustains compulsory vaccination (from Jacobson) is broad enough to cover cutting Fallopian tubes.”
So color me surprised that we started out with two weeks to slow the spread and we are now in a place of fear and pitting the unvaccinated against the vaccinated. We now have a man in the Oval Office telling you not to let your children near the unvaccinated. We have some states arresting people for trying to eat a dang sandwich in a restaurant without showing their papers AKA vaccine passport. And please, do not forget we were repeatedly told that was not going to happen as it was a conspiracy theory.
Ultimately this is an issue of how far our liberties can be prohibited, eroded or erased in the name of “safety”. I think Ben Franklin had a little something to say about that and we would do well to heed it.
And that, is just one gal’s opinion.
Becky Lay is a loving life in Bandera county with her family, dogs and chickens. The cedar, not so much.