The mayor of Maury County, Tennessee, said this week he will not comply with President Joe Biden’s vaccination mandate requiring employees to be inoculated against COVID-19.
Mayor Andy Ogles, an outspoken supporter of former President Donald Trump, even said he “will willfully go to jail” over the issue, according to a report from WZTV-TV.
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“Maury County government will not comply with any OSHA mandate that forces an employee to be vaccinated against their will,” he said. “It should be noted that I am not anti-vaccine, but your healthcare is your business and I will willfully go to jail before forcing any of you to take the vaccine.”
As it stands right now, the future of Biden’s mandate, which is enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), is unclear. The U.S. Supreme Court appears sharply divided on the heels of presiding over oral arguments regarding two Biden administration mandates.
Harmeet Dhillon, a civil rights attorney representing a client in the case, predicted on Fox News the high court will deliver a split ruling on the two issues, upholding the vaccination mandate for health care workers while striking down the edict requiring private companies with 100 or more staffers to verify their workers are inoculated against the virus.
It’s worth noting that, in November of last year, Tennessee’s attorney general filed a lawsuit against the White House, arguing the OSHA mandate on private-sector employers steps outside the bounds of their constitutional authority.
Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery was joined by state attorneys general from Idaho, Kentucky, Kansas, Ohio, Oklahoma, and West Virginia, all of whom argued OSHA lacks “statutory and constitutional authority” to issue such a mandate for private companies.
“As we anticipated, the mandate asserts an unprecedented expansion of emergency regulatory powers by a federal agency,” Slatery said at the time, according to WZTV-TV. “Its scope and breadth is only exceeded by its length (about 500 pages). It also fails to consider the many steps already taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by individuals, employers and our state.”
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