Heritage Foundation Files Lawsuit Against Biden COVID Vaccine Mandate

Heritage Foundation Files Lawsuit Against Biden COVID Vaccine Mandate

Nov 29, 2021 3 min read

WASHINGTON—The Heritage Foundation announced today that it has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit challenging the Biden administration’s COVID vaccine mandate for employers via the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Heritage Foundation President Kay C. James announced the decision along with incoming Heritage President Kevin Roberts, who takes office Wednesday. The American Center for Law and Justice filed the lawsuit on behalf of Heritage.

“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 decision for themselves,” James said. “To all of our members, to the conservative movement, and to Americans concerned by this unacceptable overreach by President 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.”

Roberts added:

“The Heritage Foundation has not historically filed lawsuits. 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.”

In the filing, Heritage highlights OSHA’s own previous resistance to issuing new rules on a COVID vaccine mandate, and subsequently argues that the mandate is unlawful for four key reasons:

  1. “OSHA’s Mandate represents a gross abuse of power and is a far cry from the ‘delicate exercise’ permitted in very ‘limited situations.’”
  2. “The Mandate clearly encroaches on the police power of states expressly reserved by the Tenth Amendment.”
  3. “It also exceeds the federal government’s authority under the Commerce Clause.”
  4. “Allowing the ultra vires Mandate to stand would impermissibly ‘compel citizens to act as the Government would have them act.’”

The Heritage Foundation has retained the American Center for Law and Justice to represent them in this matter. Led by Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), focusing on constitutional law, is based in Washington, D.C., and is online at aclj.org.

“The ACLJ is honored to serve as counsel for The Heritage Foundation. This case focuses on the serious constitutional issues raised by the Biden administration’s employer mandate,” said Sekulow.

Earlier this fall, The Heritage Foundation hit back hard on the Biden administration’s unlawful COVID vaccine mandate. James released a statement blasting the mandate shortly after President Biden announced it in early September, and Heritage experts have devoted substantial time to highlighting why the mandate is an abuse of federal authority that will have devastating consequences for Americans.

“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,” said Roberts.

The Heritage Foundation is the nation’s largest, most broadly supported conservative research and educational institution. Heritage has been leading the American conservative movement since our founding in 1973. More than 500,000 dues-paying members support our vision to build an America where freedom, prosperity, opportunity, and civil society flourish.

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