CONTACT: Andrew Beckwith, [email protected], 781.569.0400
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 7, 2022
Wakefield, MA – Massachusetts Family Institute, along with representatives from 29 other states, has joined a coalition of state family policy council organizations from across the country in opposing the illegal Biden employee vaccine mandate by filing a legal amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of N.F.I.B. v. D.O.L, U.S., No. 21A244. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on this fast-tracked case today, Friday, January 7th.
Andrew Beckwith, President and General Counsel for Massachusetts Family Institute released the following statement:
“My office has been flooded with calls from people seeking help in requesting religious exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccine mandates. We have seen time and time again how the rights of these individuals, many of them medical professionals, are being largely ignored by a bureaucracy that doesn’t seem to understand the law or have any familiarity with sincere religious faith. We’ve also seen government agencies hand down ever-changing COVID rules that carry the force of law. Not only are these rules often arbitrary and self-contradictory, they frequently discriminate against people of faith. We must not allow the government to bypass the legislative process, where there is accountability, by giving seemingly limitless authority to unelected bureaucrats under the guise of a perpetual ‘emergency.’”
The case, brought by a union of states and business industry groups, challenges the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) nationwide vaccine-or-testing rule for U.S. businesses with 100 or more employees. In addition to Massachusetts Family Institute, 30 family policy organizations (representing entities from 29 other states) signed on to the legal brief as amici curiae including: Nebraska Family Alliance, Cornerstone Policy Research of New Hampshire, Kansas Family Voice, Indiana Family Institute, Palmetto Family Council (South Carolina), Family Policy Institute of Washington, Center for Christian Virtue of Ohio, Montana Family Foundation, The Family Foundation of Virginia, Idaho Family Policy Center, Florida Family Policy Council, New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey, Delaware Family Policy Council, North Dakota Family Alliance, Christian Civic League of Maine, Family Institute of Connecticut, Wisconsin Family Action, The Family Foundation (Kentucky), California Family Council, Michigan Family Forum, Louisiana Family Forum, Frontline Policy Council (Georgia), Minnesota Family Council, Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico, Pennsylvania Family Council, Texas Values, The Family Leader of Iowa, North Carolina Family Policy Council, and Family Policy Alliance.
The brief asserts that “unelected and unaccountable administrative agencies” tend to be hostile to religious freedom by treating it as “an afterthought, an inconvenience that stands in the way of their desired policy.” Religious liberty, however, is “a vital and enduring thread in the nation’s fabric,” the brief states. The brief further argues that OSHA’s rulemaking circumvents the normal process for lawmaking through state legislatures – and the states have a much better track record for safeguarding religious liberty.
With nearly two million Bay Staters not “fully vaccinated,” the OSHA mandate could have devastating consequences for businesses in the Commonwealth. If the Court rules in favor of the business owners in this case, it may create further ground for legal challenges to the vaccine “passport” mandates cities, such as Boston and Salem, are imposing. Regardless of the outcome, this high-profile Supreme Court case will have broad implications for Massachusetts.