Heritage Foundation Sues Biden Administration to Stop Vaccine Mandate Fred Lucas / @FredLucasWH / November 29, 2021
The Heritage Foundation will "fight tooth-and-nail and send the message that our freedoms are not up for debate," Heritage President Kay C. James says. Pictured: President Joe Biden speaks Nov. 3 at the White House about authorization of a COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11. (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
The Heritage Foundation is suing the Biden administration to stop its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private employers, calling the requirement a “gross abuse of power.”
“The mandate clearly encroaches on the police power of states expressly reserved by the 10th Amendment [to the Constitution],” argues the complaint filed Monday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The lawsuit adds: “It also exceeds the federal government’s authority under the Commerce Clause.”
Heritage Foundation President Kay C. James and the think tank’s incoming president, Kevin Roberts, who takes office Wednesday, both issued statements on the lawsuit.
“Dr. Roberts and I, along with the Board of Trustees, unanimously agreed The Heritage Foundation has a vital role to play in the courts to protect and secure the freedom of all Americans to make medical decisions for themselves,” James said, adding:
To all of our members, to the conservative movement, and to Americans concerned by this unacceptable overreach by President [Joe] Biden and his administration, I say this—Heritage’s leadership is united behind this lawsuit, and we are going to fight tooth-and-nail and send the message that our freedoms are not up for debate.
Heritage’s court action became one of the latest challenges to the vaccine mandate, which imposes a Jan. 4. deadline for businesses and other organizations that employ 100 or more to require their employees either to be fully vaccinated or produce the results of weekly tests for the coronavirus. Heritage has about 270 employees.
The American Center for Law and Justice, a conservative legal group, filed the lawsuit on behalf of Heritage, which is the parent organization of The Daily Signal.
“The Heritage Foundation has not historically filed lawsuits,” Roberts said in his own written statement. “That we are doing so now should make clear to any observer that we view this mandate as a deadly serious threat to our individual liberty and the values that make America great. Under my predecessors, The Heritage Foundation has stood rock-solid in defense of liberty, freedom, and opportunity for all, and it will continue to do so under my leadership.”
I wish this lawsuit were unnecessary. I wish we had an administration in the White House that respected the Constitution and the rule of law.
From the unprecedented border crisis, to the disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal, to now this unlawful COVID vaccine mandate, it is irrevocably clear that this administration will stop at nothing—even harming Americans and our national interests—in pursuit of the most radical policy agenda in American history. Rest assured, we at Heritage are only just beginning to fight back. …
I am so thrilled to be leading this incredible organization at this pivotal time in our nation’s history, and to be engaged in the trenches on the most important fights we’ve seen in a generation.
On Sept.9, Biden authorized the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to require employers with 100 or more workers to make sure those workers either are fully vaccinated or provide weekly test results showing that they don’t have COVID-19.
“We’re going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated co-workers,” Biden said in announcing the mandate.
The Biden administration contends that the mandate is necessary because too many Americans refuse to get vaccinated and that OSHA has the statutory authority to impose th