Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

A Win For Civil Liberties

Publisher's Desk

The Jan. 13 decision by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) to block the Biden Administration from implementing its Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) COVID-19 vaccine mandate on private businesses with 100 or more employees is a huge win for civil liberties. The ruling was 6-3.

Still, it could have been better.

In a separate 5-4 ruling, SCOTUS has allowed the Biden Administration to implement its Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) COVID-19 vaccine mandate on healthcare workers in facilities that receive federal funds.

The medical profession has already been reeling from overwork due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and this ruling likely will result in more qualified health professionals who choose not to get vaccinated abandoning the field.

“I’m extremely disappointed the Supreme Court allowed the Biden Administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate on healthcare workers to go into effect, which will exacerbate healthcare workforce shortages we’re already experiencing in Montana,” said Congressman Matt Rosendale (R-MT). “I will continue to fight the Biden Administration’s overreach and authoritarian COVID-19 vaccine mandates wherever they arise.”

Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen said the SCOTUS decision to allow the mandate for healthcare workers to go into effect while the case is fully decided is as “nonsensical as it is disappointing,” and the effect on Montana’s rural medical facilities will be “irreversible and devastating.”

Knudsen said “this unprincipled ‘split the baby’ approach undermines public confidence in the Supreme Court and the rule of law.”

Still, the Jan. 13 ruling does not mean the end of the matter, Knudsen noted.

“I will continue our fight to protect Montanans’ rights and strike down President Biden’s unlawful mandates for good.”

I have been railing against mandatory vaccinations for the past several months, stating time and again such a matter should be a personal choice by the individual, not a directive from the government.

Thanks to the checks and balances of the federal government instituted by our Founding Fathers, the individualism so cherished in this country has once more been saved from the trash bin of history.

Still, I wonder how many Americans got vaccinated out of fear of losing their jobs? Perhaps that was the tactic of the Biden Administration. They moved to enact the federal mandate potentially knowing it would never pass muster before SCOTUS. But, in the meantime, many folks who were otherwise on the fence about vaccinations suddenly felt legally compelled to get the vaccine. The only other alternative was to perhaps be fired from their jobs and suffer the economic consequences for that.

Still, the battle is not over yet. In several states there remain vaccination requirements simply to enter restaurants or businesses. I recently talked to a mother from Washington state who was refused service in a restaurant due to her unvaccinated status, something she chose due to her religious beliefs.

As long as such persecution exists in this country, there can be no rest. Our rights are worth the struggle.


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