Jeremy Dys is an attorney with First Liberty Institute, the Texas-based law firm that filed the legal challenge at the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He says the regulation handed down from the Biden administration is "unconstitutional and unlawful and frankly unnecessary."
"If the White House is not going to follow the direction of our judicial system and our courts, then what's the point of having a free and ordered society?" he asks.
Dys finds it unfortunate the White House feels it can just simply brush off the directives of the Fifth Circuit, but First Liberty is going to let the legal process play itself out.
"At the end of the day, or at least I hope at the end of the day," says the attorney, "reasonable minds will prevail and this unconstitutional mandate will go by the wayside."
In addition to announcing its intentions of moving ahead with the rule, the White House continues to claim President Joe Biden has the legal authority to force COVID shots on private sector businesses and workers – in this case, private sector businesses with 100 or more employees. Governors, attorneys general, and law firms challenging the Biden mandate counter that argument, saying the president doesn't have the authority.
"This is the exact crux of the debate," says Dys. "This is a bit like ordering everybody, every worker in the country to carry an EpiPen because one to two percent of the population might have a peanut allergy. This can be done a lot more effectively and in a much different way, and in a way that actually follows the Constitution."
A veteran political analyst has warned that the Biden administration is playing with "political dynamite" by pressing forward on the employer mandate and ignoring the court.
"It's not about whether the vaccine mandates are a good idea, or whether states or municipalities or counties can impose a mandate," Fox News' Brit Hume said Tuesday night.
"It's not about whether companies can impose a mandate, it's about one thing, that's whether the federal government through the Labor Department [through] OSHA has the authority under the law in the Constitution to issue a nationwide federal mandate."
Hume added: "It's not at all clear that they can prevail in court on this mandate – and if people lose their jobs as a result of it, that is political dynamite."
The attorney explains he's simply contending on behalf of his clients for a valuable American value.
"Everybody can debate about whether to get the vaccine, whether it's safe and effective," Dys states. "That's something we used to call 'freedom' – to allow people to make that decision on their own.
"[But in this case] the federal government has come out and more or less federalized the entire workforce in demanding that they follow their standards when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine. That's not the level of freedom that we've come to expect in our country today."
An unprecedented power grab
Heritage Action, the political arm of The Heritage Foundation, recently released a statement expressing its opposition to the Biden mandate. The group says it's prepared to pursue all legal avenues to fight what it calls an "unlawful" order.
"This is a power grab that, honestly, goes against what we're founded on [and] against our American way of life, says Lindsey Curnutte, press secretary for Heritage Action. "It's an unlawful order and really … a blatant abuse of power by the Biden administration."
The mandate, she argues, is not about public health. "This is about controlling Americans' day-to-day lives – and it's about power for the federal government," Curnutte tells AFN. "If we let this [mandate] go through unscathed and unopposed … who knows what's next?"
She adds that giving the federal government unrelinquished power to tell private businesses and workers what they do with their own private medical decisions "is something that is unheard-of – so, we really have to stand up against this."