The official Alabama state motto is “Audemus Jura Nostra Defendere” which is Latin for “We dare defend our rights.” Marie Bankhead Owen, the director of the state Archives, came upon the idea while searching for "a phrase that would interpret the spirit of our peoples in a terse and energetic sentence." The motto was emblazoned on the state coat of arms; both were unanimously adopted by the Alabama legislature in 1939. Most Alabamians probably don’t know the state motto, but we like to think ourselves fiercely independent. We have suffered decades of erosion to our rights, but now we face a direct assault on our Constitutional rights. It’s time to turn that motto into action.
After promising through the campaign and early part of his tenure that there would be no national vaccine requirements, Joe Biden issued a 9 September 2021 executive order directing that all federal employees, employees of federal contractors, and any health care workers in hospitals that participate in MEDICAID or MEDICARE must be vaccinated. He went further directing all companies with 100 or more employees must have their employees vaccinated or tested weekly. Biden directed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue regulations governing these requirements which are still pending.
For starters, any such action is unconstitutional. The Congress cannot pass laws that dictate healthcare requirements and the president certainly cannot mandate healthcare requirements by executive fiat. Whether you support vaccinations or not is not the issue. If the government can require a vaccination, they can and are denying benefits and even simple healthcare for non-compliance. Some hospitals are already denying treatment even lifesaving organ transplants to unvaccinated citizens.
Where does this stop? The short answer is it doesn’t! The British National Health System already denies certain treatments to smokers and the obese; this is already coming here. So if the government determines CBD use or whatever elixir is beneficial, can they mandate it? Or, if they determine gun ownership a “public health crisis,” can they deny gun owners treatment? All of this sounds absurd, but so is the notion that government can dictate any kind of healthcare. A free people have an inherent right to privacy not to mention freedom to choose. If government deems your lifestyle or non-compliance unhealthy, they will deny treatment to control your lifestyle. And that’s what these mandates are about – control!
Despite the lack of OSHA guidance, many large companies are already moving to implement Biden’s vaccine mandates. These companies are not the enemy in this battle but rather pawns used by a power mad federal government in a sinister scheme to coerce the private sector into enforcing their unconstitutional tyrannical edicts on its citizens. These companies only want to avoid federal persecution, so they are gambling their workers will grudgingly comply to save their jobs.
Well, they have underestimated the grit and spirit of the American worker. Skilled American workers are the best employees on the planet. They have a strong work ethic and boast the highest productivity. They love their jobs and love the companies they work for, but they also love their families, their country, and their freedoms. They are loyal, but do not mess with their livelihoods and liberties!
Threatened with losing their jobs, American workers in Alabama and across the nation are standing up against these blatant violations of their Constitutional rights. Even employees that have been vaccinated are seeing that these strong arm tactics are intolerable. In this highly competitive labor market, these companies will not be able to replace 15, 25, or 35% of their skilled work force. They cannot afford such a massive disruption to their operations, so these courageous workers have more leverage than they might think. Delta and Southwest Airlines have already backed down from their gross miscalculations.
However, this is not a struggle between employee and employer. The federal government has cynically pitted employees against employers hoping these companies will do their dirty work. It is the federal government trying to violate our Constitutional rights using these companies has proxy.
A grassroots statewide movement, Health Freedom Alabama (HFA) is leading the charge and offering an equitable solution to employees and employers. HFA successfully worked in the spring of 2021 to get the state of Alabama to sign into law a ban on vaccine passports. With this new challenge, HFA has successfully gotten House Bill 31, the “Alabama Health Freedom Act,” introduced in the Alabama House. But we need Governor Ivey to put HB31 into the “call” for the upcoming special session. It’s past time for Governor Ivey to act to protect Alabama workers!
This bill protects the Constitutional rights of Alabama workers, but it also provides employers a legal escape from this manufactured conflict. HB31 is being mischaracterized to big business as a fountain of law suits; it is not! HB31 simply states employers cannot enforce vaccine mandates, so if HB31 passes, employers can recuse themselves from the vaccine debate and concentrate on keeping their workers and producing their products.
This is a battle about Constitutional rights not vaccines. HB31 allows companies to remove themselves from the equation and return this battle to be fought between state governments and the federal government where it belongs. The private sector is rightly afraid of federal intimidation, but HB31 gives them reasonable cover. With HB31, big companies can avoid a showdown with their workers and tell both the Biden Administration and states they will comply when this question is resolved between the state and federal governments.
The survival rate from the Chinese virus is about 99.7%, so why is it so important EVERY American be vaccinated? With vaccinated people still contracting COVID and dying from it, there is no reliable information about the vaccines, not to mention devastating side effects that are not being reported. If we do not defeat these vaccines mandates, the government will mandate vaccines for our children and no one knows how that will affect them. But again, this battle is not about vaccines; it is about government overreach and individual liberty.
Our personal health choices and privacy are in the balance, but more important our Constitutional rights are at stake. Reject this fabricated struggle between employees and employers and demand Governor Ivey and the Alabama legislature pass HB31 to protect Alabama workers and relieve companies of any liability. This is a Constitutional fight with the federal government, so our state leaders must take up the mantle and face down these federal usurpations of the Tenth Amendment. Alabama workers are daring to defend our rights, so now it’s time for our state leaders to live up to our state motto. If they fail or refuse, Alabamians have the opportunity next year to replace them and hire leaders that will dare defend our rights!
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1).
Pete Riehm is the host of Common Sense Radio heard 8pm every Thursday on FMTalk106.5 or streaming at fmtalk1065.com. Email him at email@example.com or on MEWE @PeteRiehm or read all his columns at http://www.renewamerica.com/.kraien© Pete Riehm
The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.