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“Stop this ridiculous overreach”: Gov. Reeves promises lawsuit against federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves is promising to fight a federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate the...
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves is promising to fight a federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate the best way he knows how - through the courts.(WLBT)
Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 5:11 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLOX) - With his attorney general by his side, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves is promising to fight a federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate the best way he knows how - through the courts.

Reeves turned to social media Tuesday with a promise, “I expect that we will have a lawsuit filed against the Biden administration by the end of the week to stop this ridiculous overreach.”

Just last week, Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch and 20 other attorneys general from across the country sent a letter to President Joe Biden challenging the administration’s vaccine mandate for federal contract employees.

Since the mandate was announced Sept. 9, 2021, employees from Ingalls Shipbuilding and Stennis Space Center have held different protests against the mandate, citing the lack of choice in the matter.

In his post Tuesday, Reeves called the mandate “one of the most shocking attacks on personal liberty we have seen in this country during my lifetime.”

He went on to say that while he is a strong supporter of COVID vaccines, forcing them on people threatens individual liberties.

“The best path our founders provided states to push back on federal tyranny is through the courts,” Reeves wrote. “I’ve instructed every branch of government that I control to work in support of this suit and this cause. We are also standing alongside workers—pushing back against this overreach.”

Reeves said he believes the pushback is starting to work with new guidance released Monday from the White House that gives federal contractors broad authority on how to treat employees who refuse to be vaccinated.

“The new guidance creates the opportunity for broad discretion by employers: they can protect their workers from this unlawful mandate. That is what every Mississippi institution should do,” Reeves said. “While we fight the federal mandates in the courts, the new guidance opens the door for Mississippi workers to keep their jobs if you have a sincerely held conviction.”

Read the full statement from Gov. Tate Reeves below:

Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates are one of the most shocking attacks on personal liberty we have seen in this country during my lifetime. I am a strong supporter of the COVID vaccines and commend the Trump administration’s efforts to develop it. I even got it on Facebook Live to demonstrate my confidence. I have urged every Mississippian to talk to their doctor and make a personal decision to protect themselves.

These federal mandates, however, threaten every Mississippian’s individual liberties. They are nothing short of tyranny.

The best path our founders provided states to push back on federal tyranny is through the courts. We are working closely with our Attorney General’s office. I expect that we will have a lawsuit filed against the Biden administration by the end of the week to stop this ridiculous overreach.

I’ve instructed every branch of government that I control to work in support of this suit and this cause. We are also standing alongside workers—pushing back against this overreach. And it is slowly working.

The Biden administration yesterday quietly affirmed what Mississippians have known to be true throughout the process: Our laws guarantee you religious freedom, and the federal government cannot force or threaten you to make a decision that may jeopardize your personal health.

New guidance released yesterday - with little to no attention from the media - says that employers must honor and give deference to your religious convictions and health status. The new guidance creates the opportunity for broad discretion by employers: they can protect their workers from this unlawful mandate. That is what every Mississippi institution should do. While we fight the federal mandates in the courts, the new guidance opens the door for Mississippi workers to keep their jobs if you have a sincerely held conviction.

Although the federal government has not followed through on a single threat, many institutions across the country have acted rashly out of fear of losing federal funds. They should be reminded that the state of Mississippi will not be in the business of subsidizing or supporting institutions that fail to go out of their way to respect at least these basic human rights. Every Mississippi business, university, and hospital should bend over backwards to accommodate and presume goodwill.

We will be listening to you, and working to protect lives and livelihoods—just as we have done since day one of this pandemic.

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