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*** UPDATED x1 *** Pritzker appears to reach the limits of his executive powers

Monday, Sep 27, 2021

* My weekly syndicated newspaper column

After well over a year of successfully fending off every legal challenge to his executive powers during the pandemic, it now appears that Gov. J.B. Pritzker might have reached the limits of his authority.

The brick wall is Illinois’ decades-old Health Care Right of Conscience Act, which originally was designed to protect doctors and other health care workers from any repercussions if they refused to participate in abortions or other medical procedures/treatments they opposed.

“The biggest source of frustration and the biggest challenge right now related to the vaccine [mandate] issue is the Health Care Right of Conscience Act and how to manage that in this environment,” Tom Bertrand, the executive director of the Illinois Association of School Boards, told me.

The statute is so broadly written that it’s being seized upon by folks who are attempting to evade the state’s vaccination/testing mandates.

Statute excerpt: “It shall be unlawful for any public official, guardian, agency, institution or entity to deny any form of aid, assistance or benefits or to condition the reception in any way of any form of aid, assistance or benefits, or in any other manner to coerce, disqualify or discriminate against any person, otherwise entitled to such aid, assistance or benefits, because that person refuses to obtain, receive, accept, perform, assist, counsel, suggest, recommend, refer or participate in any way in any form of health care services contrary to his or her conscience.”

“Conscience” is defined as “a sincerely held set of moral convictions arising from belief in and relation to God, or which, though not so derived, arises from a place in the life of its possessor parallel to that filled by God among adherents to religious faiths.” Pretty darned broad. Democrats wouldn’t ever pass that bill today, considering the climate.

The law’s definition of “health care” includes the word “testing.” And Nauvoo-Colusa School District teachers who’ve refused vaccines have convinced the school board to exempt them from the weekly mandatory testing opt-out, citing the HCRCA. The school system already is under Illinois State Board of Education probation for not enforcing the state mask mandate. The school is in Hancock County, which has a mind-numbing positivity rate of 17.6%, and just 33.4% of residents are fully vaccinated.

Nobody at the IASB or the Illinois Association of School Administrators knows yet how widespread the use of this law is, but, said one official, “It’s the most chaotic period I’ve ever seen in Illinois schools.”

“It’s really difficult right now because there’s just no clarity,” said the IASB’s Bertrand.

There is talk of attempting to require HCRCA refusers to somehow prove their beliefs are “sincerely held.” But that could be fraught with problems.

Both teachers’ unions supported the governor’s vax/test mandate. But several of their members are now raising money to hire attorneys. And that means the unions are caught in the middle.

Sarah Antonacci, the Illinois Education Association’s director of communications, said, “At this time, we are unaware of any court that has found that the law provides a basis of objection for education employees who oppose the mandates set forth in the governor’s Executive Order.”

Antonacci also admitted that the issue had created a rift between those who support the mandate “and those who believe the government may have overstepped its bounds in mandating any of these things”

Illinois Federation of Teachers President Dan Montgomery said the existing law “did not contemplate a global health pandemic,” but said it “could take a long time” to settle legal questions in the judicial branch.

I asked both politically powerful unions if they would support a legislative fix to clarify that the law does not apply in these cases. Only the IFT’s Montgomery answered, saying the union “would consider supporting” a change.

Beyond a general support for the governor’s COVID response, the Democratic super majority in the General Assembly has shied away from legislation because an intense backlash can so easily be ginned up on Facebook nowadays. Since there was no real need to step in as long as the courts were siding with Pritzker, members would just as soon let that sleeping dog lie.

But there may be no choice now. The governor’s people say they need an amendment to the current law if there’s any hope of enforcement. I think there could be a way to press hard on the “sincerely held” beliefs angle but, barring that, if legislative Democrats want to see this thing through, then they may have to finally stick their political necks out.

* The Illinois FOP released this statement on Sunday…

Statement from Fraternal Order of Police State Lodge President Chris Southwood regarding contemplated changes to the Health Care Right of Conscience Act:

“As we have previously stated, we are not opposed to the COVID-19 vaccine, we are opposed to being forced to take it. Furthermore, the ILFOP is vehemently opposed to any proposed changes to the Health Care Right of Conscience Act that would diminish any individual’s right to their religious liberties and choose what is or is not injected into their body.”

“We also decry the state’s attempt to force targeted groups of citizens, such as law enforcement officers, first responders, correctional officers, teachers and others, to a forced vaccine as a condition of employment. In America, the land of the free, laws shouldn’t be changed just because they don’t fit the current political agenda of our elected politicians who sometimes forget the rights of ‘we the people’ who elected them.”

“Conscience is an individual’s most sacred right, and the Constitutional right of religious freedom prevents the government from imposing the beliefs of one segment of the population onto another.”

*** UPDATE *** Center Square

At Jacksonville public schools, school Superintendent Steve Ptacek published a letter they sent the governor and Illinois State Board of Education saying that the district won’t be excluding staff without more clarity. Ptacek outlined the dilemma: “If we exclude staff that are not complying with Executive Order 2021-20, we assume substantial legal risk, but if we do not exclude employees, we are in defiance of an executive order.”

Defying the governor’s orders could lead to the Illinois State Board of Education putting the district on probation, and possibly impacting state funding to the district.

Ptacek’s letter said it can’t risk taxpayer resources on lengthy lawsuits challenging the governor’s mandate under the HCRCA that could come with tens of thousands in legal liabilities.

“For a $50,000/year employee, the penalties and costs could very realistically cost the taxpayers $500,000 per incident,” he said of potential legal liability if someone wins a case under the HCRCA.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - dan l - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 1:30 am:

    I remain entirely grossed out by the FOP’s “we’re not anti-vaccine, we’re just anti-vaccine” schtick. I think that’s the reason why folks at the Herman Cain Freedom Awards and sorryantivaxer are a little biased towards the ‘first responder’ type professions that should know better but don’t.

  2. - Anyone Remember - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 1:57 am:

    Chris Southwood. Have you heard of Jacobson v. Massachusetts?

  3. - PublicServant - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 5:26 am:

    Change the law so it can’t be abused by dead-enders…now. But “We’re scared of Facebook blowback”. Come on. Anyone complaining about an amendment to the Health Care Right of Conscience Act, wouldn’t have voted for you anyway.

  4. - Bruce( no not him) - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 6:16 am:

    If the Governor has reached the limit, it’s time for the legislature to step up.
    They have let the Gov lead for the last year and a half. It’s their turn.

  5. - Elliott Ness - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 7:25 am:

    Bruce nailed it. The GA has intentionally punted time after time, even of first down, when they could have stepped in and made clear the law and intention of the law. They want to be co-equal, except when they want to run and hide. It is well past time for some leadership from those elected to represent the people of the State. The governor has done all he could or should do.

  6. - Kyle’s mom - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 7:33 am:

    Meanwhile, on Friday, a judge in Kane County ruled against some teachers and school staff re a vaccine requirement.

  7. - Elliott Ness - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 7:38 am:

    Kyle’s Mom- I think he ruled against a TRO but the case is not completely litigated. The governor could eventually prevail, especially upon appeal if needed. This case, nor all of the past and future cases should be an excuse for the GA and the lack of involvement.

  8. - Kyle’s mom - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 7:41 am:

    You are correct. But a TRO ruling generally includes a discussion on which side is likely to prevail. I haven’t seen the ruling, and I agree the legislature should have looked at this statute at least a year ago.

  9. - ChicagoVinny - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 7:44 am:

    Is it really sticking your neck out politically given how well vaccine mandates poll?

    Seems like the less politically popular stance would be to side with the antivaxxers and do nothing.

  10. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 7:55 am:

    Pritzker has done what anyone in that office, given state statues, could do.

    Numbskulls will be numbskulls. Ten dollar a pack cigarettes prove that. (Yes, I know, they’re more expensive in the city.)

  11. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 7:56 am:


  12. - DHS Drone - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 8:24 am:

    I noticed the FOP statement mentioned correctional officers. I’ve heard there is an attempt by facility locals to decert from AFSCME in order to join FOP. Either by local or the whole RC 6 bargaining unit.

  13. - Manchester - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 8:26 am:

    I hope the Legislature steps up to the plate on this. The vaccine mandates and masking mandates need to stand and be enforced. My patience with the anti-vax and anti-mask crowd no longer exists.

  14. - Jocko - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 8:28 am:

    ==prevents the government from imposing the beliefs of one segment of the population onto another.==

    I ‘believe’ you had a TB booster before taking your job as a LEO. How is this any different?

  15. - truthteller - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 8:33 am:

    perhaps study what is “at will” employment state and Illinois is one is needed by the OP and reviewed by employers. Union contract and personal employment contracts can dictate outcome, otherwise, you as an employee can go find another job

  16. - Occasionally Moderated - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 8:34 am:

    The #1 killer of police during the pandemic has been Covid.


    Do I need to say anything more? Chris, what are the basic goals of the org? Are they about safety, well being of the members and work conditions?

    As an active F.OP. member, I’m pretty irritated with this schtick.

    Figure this out.

  17. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 8:43 am:

    If the FOP is anything like AFSCME they are listening to a small group of half-wits and not the majority of membership.

    Most law enforcement employees need the union for a master contract and little else. They show up and do their jobs, w/o drama and baggage.

    But that handful of malcontents, for some reason, always have union leadership’s ear.

  18. - Cubs in '16 - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 8:54 am:

    ===I ‘believe’ you had a TB booster before taking your job as a LEO. How is this any different?===

    This could be a valid legal argument against using the Health Care Right of Conscience Act as a way to bypass testing and/or vaccination. If you can show a person submitted to other vaccines/testing procedures as a condition of employment this argument should go out the window. I don’t think one can legally pick and choose which health-related mandates they object to. They would most likely have to convince a court that the COVID vaccine/testing procedures differ significantly from those they’ve already submitted to voluntarily.

  19. - OMG - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 9:04 am:

    Cubs in ‘16 - Physicals should be enough to show inconsistencies with “testing.” Picking and choosing is exactly what’s going on.

  20. - Occasionally Moderated - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 9:09 am:

    ==If the FOP is anything like AFSCME they are listening to a small group of half-wits and not the majority of membership.==

    Yes. Has been that way since I became a member in the early 90’s.

    ===Most law enforcement employees need the union for a master contract and little else. They show up and do their jobs, w/o drama and baggage.===

    Also true. Most of the officers I worked with had opportunities to file grievances but would rather just avoid the drama and move on.

    Most of the law enforcement officers I work with are vaxxed. They might prefer Fox News but they aren’t completely stupid.

  21. - TheInvisibleMan - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 9:10 am:

    == because an intense backlash can so easily be ginned up on Facebook nowadays ==

    I live in a district of over 20k students.

    The so-called opposition groups have a total membership of about 900 people, and easily double-digit percentages of those people are just there to keep an eye on the crazies. The actual number of people who post and are upset about this is about 8.

    Being afraid of facebook blowback is an absurd excuse.

    This is the point in time where the democratic legislature can snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory.

    If you are afraid of the loons, then appoint me to your position and I’ll put my name on the vote.

  22. - Southern Belle - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 9:16 am:

    Federal courts have been very clear on the issue of “sincerely held belief.”

    For example in the cases brought forward by inmates for things such as diets, religious medallions, and special practices the courts have almost always sided with the believer and against IDOC. Even to the point of saying an individual even has the right to “backslide,” but is still considered sincere.

    I think the courts have been consistent in ruling the state has to prove an individual is NOT sincere. The individual does not have to prove that they are.

  23. - ChicagoBars - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 9:35 am:

    The Federal government’s power of the purse over Medicaid and Medicare providers seems like it will moot the Illinois law in the healthcare setting.

    Though vaccine resistance among home health and nursing home staff might simply delay that mandate rather than see those sectors lose some staff.

  24. - Springfieldish - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 9:37 am:

    If you don’t want to be told what to do, be thankful you’re not a civilian.
    They get shot by you guys for non-compliance.
    “Serve and Protect” my Aunt Fanny

  25. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 9:38 am:

    For me, organized labor has really been reduced.

    Instead of labor, in some instances, focusing on health and well-being of membership and workplace safety for all, labor has become, in instances, a wretched cesspool of Facebook ignorance, and members in a minority dedicated to cave and ruin what organized labor was founded upon.

    The worst elements of society have now infiltrated the ranks of organized labor to make it more of a “fraternal” organization with politics and science being wholly ignored for… “personal freedoms” revolving around an ignorant lemming core minority

    The rest?

    The rest is what Rich has written so ably and quite pointedly, again bringing insight that very few can.

    If you’re defending AFSCME, FOP, etc, leadership… it’s difficult to take you serious when it comes to labor… the governor has strung it out likely as far as he can go… those willing to hurt others or ignore their own responsibilities going forward will be easily identified

  26. - H-W - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 9:45 am:

    If the Health Care Right of Conscience Act were to be used in court, wouldn’t a reasonable judge ask (a) what was the intent of this law, and (b) doesn’t the law of parsimony apply here?

  27. - H-W - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 9:46 am:

    That said, I am in favor of the Legislature acting directly.

  28. - ArchPundit - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 9:47 am:

    ====Federal courts have been very clear on the issue of “sincerely held belief.”

    The state could change the standard in this case. In the case of prisoners it is their 1st Amendment right to practice their faith. The exception for faith is statutory in Illinois and Illinois could alter the test to be rigid than it currently is.

    I would prefer we go full Mississippi and offer no exceptions, but if we are going to allow a religious exemption it should require prior evidence of the belief before Covid much like conscientious objector status.

    As long as it a mandatory vaccine law is not targeting religious practice, but has a secular purpose it should pass Constitutional muster–of course who knows with the current Court.

  29. - Give Us Barabbas - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 9:49 am:

    I’ll never understand politicians who are too afraid of losing their job to -do- their job. That goes for union leaders as well.

    As far as the objectors, if they had a concience in the first place, they would care enough for their fellow man to wear a mask and get vaccinated.

  30. - ArchPundit - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 9:49 am:

    To the law–it was a dumb law as written. If we wanted to allow people to avoid taking part in abortions that should have been specified in the law. As written currently a Christian Scientist could be exempt from anything beside praying.

  31. - Norseman - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 9:50 am:

    This certainly complicates things. Hopefully, the Governor’s and AG’s lawyers are pulling overtime to address the problem.

    We see again where the so-called pro-life movement shows how anti-life and anti-health they really are.

  32. - Juvenal - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 9:54 am:

    I don’t know why someone has not just said out loud that the law was intended to protect Christians, not Anarchists.

    We all know these are sham claims driven by a political belief, not a religious belief.

    This is the Med Society’s language, what have they said?

  33. - Amalia - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 10:19 am:

    There’s a Tribune editorial piece today by a doctor that relates to this topic.

  34. - Donnie Elgin - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 10:41 am:

    “prove their beliefs are “sincerely held.” But that could be fraught with problems’

    Expanding government intrusions into the private medical lives of citizens is bound to trigger a Religious freedom pushback. Based on the Illinois law and 1st amendment, I would say that asking folks to prove up, their beliefs would be a sure loser both in the courts and public opinion.

  35. - ArchPundit - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 11:04 am:

    ===“prove their beliefs are “sincerely held.” But that could be fraught with problems’

    This is already the standard for the highest level of protection in the Constitution. Southern Belle was referring to court cases in prisons that are based on the 1st Amendment.

    The issue here is one of whether a legitimate use of state power to force a vaccine mandate. Jabcobson vs Massachusetts found a mandate is well within the police powers of the state (a federal mandate would be more questionable more on federalism grounds than anything else).

    Two questions are raised then. First, a religious belief is subject to a higher standard of protection. However, the Employment Division v Smith found a law with a secular purpose can override religious belief.

    Second, how is the religious exemption defined in law. The current law allows a very weak standard. That can be increased to be something more similar to how one gains conscientious objector status which is more about a documented history of opposing war (vaccines in this case) or just eliminate exemptions which some states have long done with vaccines.

  36. - H-W - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 11:08 am:

    The FBI tracks leading causes of death among Law Enforcement Officers (LEO). Two in particular are long standing - Killings (felonious), and Accidents.

    Each year over the past couple decades, the number of LEO-killings has hovered between 50 and 70, annually.

    Last year (2020), 71 LEO died due to Covid - the number one cause of death for LEO.

    This year, over 130+ LEO have already died due to Covid. This will eclipse both LEO-killings and accidents, combined.

    At what point does the FOP step up and say, “we stand adamantly opposed to efforts to prevent the number one killer of law enforcement officers, if that means preventative medicines?” The FOP is on the wrong side of history on this one, and is contributing to the deaths of LEO through it’s grandstanding for the right to die.

  37. - Mason born - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 11:20 am:

    Ya, I’m not sure how you can judge “Sincerely” held beliefs. If an inmate converts to Islam from Baptist would we argue his/her request for halal meals isn’t a sincere request because it wasn’t long held?

    As for FOP I remain convinced that police Unions are Great for their members bad for public policy.

  38. - Out of llinois - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 12:17 pm:

    I am 100% in favor of people making the decision ti get vaccinated. It is, in my opinion, the right thing to do. I am opposed to governmental bodies mandating it. American’s should have the freedom not to get vaccinated. I understand the possible ramifications to others, I just don’t believe the government has the right to mandate it.

  39. - Huh? - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 12:21 pm:

    “I just don’t believe the government has the right to mandate it.”

    SCOTUS disagreed over 100 years ago.

    Vaccinations are mandatory for school enrollment.

    Why should the covid vax be any different?

  40. - Flying Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 12:24 pm:

    Out of Illinois-

    Driving under the influence has “possible ramifications to others,” should the government not have to right to pass DUI laws.

    Infecting others with something fatal when there is a free alternative is not a right.

  41. - thechampaignlife - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 12:26 pm:

    ===It shall be unlawful for any public official…[to] discriminate against any person…because that person refuses to…participate in…health care services contrary to his or her conscience.===

    I am not convinced the HCRCA is an issue here. There is no reasonable sincere moral or religious objection to drooling in a tube or wearing a piece of cloth over your nose and mouth. None. The TRO is flawed, and should be overturned on appeal.

    There are other holes to be poked in this logic, such as:

    1. ===”Health care” means any phase of patient care, including but not limited to, testing…===
    This is not patient care. It is public health screening. If you test positive, you are quarantined as a public health threat, not treated as a patient.
    2. ===”Health care personnel” means any…person who furnishes, or assists in the furnishing of, health care services===
    Further evidence that this is not patient care or health care is that school personnel assist in the furnishing of SHIELD testing, not medical professionals.
    3. From 20 ILCS 3305/7: ===the Governor shall have and may exercise for a period not to exceed 30 days the following emergency powers…(12) …perform and exercise any other functions, powers, and duties as may be necessary to promote and secure the safety and protection of the civilian population.===
    That is broad authorization. 20 ILCS 3305/7 was last revised a month ago, so its provisions should supersede 745 ILCS 70/14, the HCRCA supersede clause from 1998.

  42. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 12:28 pm:

    ===American’s should have the freedom not to get vaccinated===

    This only works if you also believe employers, schools, military, have the right to deny you into your job, school, and service.

    Freedom, amirite?

    Choices *have* consequences, vaccines have been a staple to American health for decades.

  43. - Jocko - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 12:36 pm:

    ==American’s should have the freedom not to get vaccinated.==

    To paraphrase Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. “Your right to infect ends where my senses (ear, nose, and throat) begin.”

  44. - Blake - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 12:39 pm:

    Out of Illinois, people’s contact with government is often involuntary, so people doing government work while unvaccinated are imposing themselves on others.

  45. - ArchPundit - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 1:14 pm:

    ===I just don’t believe the government has the right to mandate it.

    It’s a classic case of what government is good at. Government exists to overcome collective action problems. We mandate many things including reserving the right to mandate military service which is a far greater infringement on individual liberty than being required to take a vaccine. This is especially true since military service requires a number of vaccines.

  46. - anon2 - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 1:35 pm:

    Men may refuse military service due to conscientious objection. The draft board will examine the beliefs. Beliefs which qualify a registrant for CO status may be religious in nature, but don’t have to be. Beliefs may be moral or ethical; however, a man’s reasons for not wanting to participate in a war must not be based on politics, expediency, or self-interest. In general, the man’s lifestyle prior to making his claim must reflect his current claims.

  47. - anon2 - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 1:38 pm:

    == I ‘believe’ you had a TB booster before taking your job as a LEO. How is this any different? ==

    If conscientious objection to the covid vaccine or tests were subject to the same examination as a CO claim for the draft, then a board would ask whether the decision to submit to one vaccine but to object to another was based upon politics.

  48. - Huh? - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 1:54 pm:

    “I ‘believe’ you had a TB booster before taking your job as a LEO.”

    Probably didn’t get a “TB booster”. What was likely administered was TB skin test.

    Per the CDC, the TB vax is not widely used in the US.

  49. - OneMan - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 1:56 pm:

    That is how the training I got from selective service about 10 years ago was. A recent epiphany was considered suspect.

  50. - pc - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 2:19 pm:

    I’d like to reiterate TheChampaignLife’s point. The term “health care” only applies to phases of “patient care”. What phase of patient care is involved here? Police officers and teachers for example certainly are not the providers of any patient care. Are they saying they are the recipients of patient care under the Act when they provide a sample to test for COVID, and thus they can refuse the test?

  51. - The Dude - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 2:37 pm:


    You are correct on the t-test. It is not a vaccine.

    In fact the only mandated vaccine the federal government has in the hep B vaccine associated with the bloodborne standard of OSHA and the standard allows for the employee to decline the vaccine.

    A lot of people base a lot of their ideas off a false reality. OSHA has never been in the business of mandates vaccines. Every osha regulation was created by congress and not a president. A lot of people are going to be surprised when this all fails because the legislator didn’t make the rule.

    Executive branch enforces the law. Legislative makes them. You can’t claim emergency powers forever and pretend you are king like president and JB.

  52. - ArchPundit - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 2:47 pm:

    ====Every osha regulation was created by congress and not a president.

    You should familiarize yourself with the Administrative Procedures Act of 1946 which is the modern infrastructure by which all agencies make rules. Most states have a similar law. Legislatures pass laws, the executive promulgates rules consistent with those laws.

  53. - ArchPundit - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 2:53 pm:

    You should familiarize yourself with the Administrative Procedures Act of 1946 which is the modern infrastructure by which all agencies make rules. Most states have a similar law. Legislatures pass laws, the executive promulgates rules consistent with those laws.

  54. - G'Kar - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 2:53 pm:

    Since the Spring I have been following a anti-vax, among other things, group on FB. They have consistently urged their followers to use the HCRCA to avoid getting a vax. They include links to forms to print out to present to an employer in case they insist on a shot.

  55. - Senior Partner - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 3:36 pm:

    -Freedom, amirite?-

    Freedom in the labor market officially ended when 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed. Businesses have major limits on who they can hire and fire because of the “disparate impact” of their workforce. The old libertarian notion of employers being able to hire who they want and fire for cause is over. So, not wanting to be vaccinated to keep your job is entirely winnable case in federal court . Alito, Thomas, Kavaugh, Goresh , and Barrett don’t exactly have the views of many in the state of Illinois.

  56. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 3:38 pm:

    === Alito, Thomas, Kavaugh, Goresh , and Barrett don’t exactly have the views of many in the state of Illinois.===

    To go to Indiana University, you must be vaccinated.

    When appealed to Barrett, she rejected the appeal.

    So there’s that.

  57. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 3:41 pm:

    ===So, not wanting to be vaccinated to keep your job is entirely winnable case in federal court====

    What happened with Houston Baptist?

    So there’s that too.

  58. - northsider (the original) - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 3:45 pm:

    So the Secretary of State can’t make me take an eye test if I want to renew my driver’s license?
    Nursing home & day care workers don’t have to take a TB test anymore?
    Society is unravelling at breakneck speed.

  59. - Ghost of William Blackstone - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 3:46 pm:

    -To go to Indiana University, you must be vaccinated.-

    Being a student and being an employee at a private sector corporation are two different thing or could be two different things in the eyes of a federal judge. George Mason already backed down on a lawsuit from a professor of economics for fear of losing. The good professor already had COVID.

  60. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 4:06 pm:

    === Being a student ===

    The point was the judges, and citing Justice Barrett

    That was the point.

  61. - ArchPundit - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 4:11 pm:

    ===Being a student and being an employee at a private sector corporation are two different thing or could be two different things in the eyes of a federal judge

    A public university would provide more legal protections for a student than being an employee at a private corporation.

    George Mason granted a medical exemption, but also still requires the professor to be regularly tested.

  62. - Mr. Jeepers - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 4:16 pm:

    I heard about that George Mason economist. He had COVID and was willing to go to court based on those scientific studies . Best of luck to employers who face the similar situation in federal court.

  63. - Jibba - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 4:33 pm:

    ===Society is unravelling at breakneck speed.===

    Ain’t this the truth. We’ve enabled those who think that they have no responsibilities to the rest of society at the expense of being able to have a society that functions. Feel free to not have a shot or test, but be confined to your home or other safe places as determined by the situation. Repeal or amend if upheld by judges.

  64. - Thomas Paine - Monday, Sep 27, 21 @ 7:50 pm:

    As I said back on Sept 10:

    === I have no problem with legit exemptions, but let’s make it damn clear that we are serious about protecting legit religious and medical exemptions while cracking down on fraud.

    So, put in an affidavit at the top of the exemption form that must be signed and notarized, and remind them that fraud is grounds for discipline up to and including termination, and subject to prosecution that could result in forfeiture of their pension benefits.

    Also, require them to sign a release form to access their medical and insurance records during their term of state employment, for verification purposes. ===

    If any teachers wanna gamble their teaching certificate and their pension over a phony claim to not get vaccinated, let them roll the dice.

    ISBE can proscribe the form. Require the teacher to submit the form both to their school and to the ISBE office in Chicago.

  65. - Chief Ten Beers - Tuesday, Sep 28, 21 @ 8:10 am:

    Fear and adversity have certainly turned somewhat reasonable people into cowardly bullies. There is always a certain level of risk in a free society.

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