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Impact of Gov. Ivey’s order fighting mandatory vaccinations questioned

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 7:33 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A legal showdown is expected to erupt over Governor Ivey’s latest executive order asking state agencies to not enforce President Biden’s vaccine mandate for businesses and government contractors.

Governor Ivey is a proponent of people getting vaccinated against COVID but she said the people of Alabama are strongly opposed to mandates to get vaccinated. That is why she is setting the stage for a legal fight that could end up in the US Supreme Court.

Governor Ivey understood the importance of getting vaccinations to stem the pandemic, but Ivey stopped short of mandates by opposing the reinstatement of statewide mandates and vaccine mandates from the federal government for private businesses. Under President Joe Biden’s plan those businesses could face fines from OSHA.

“It is a message to everybody we don’t like vaccine mandates. We are not going to help the federal government do anything. But it stops short of Florida and Texas where it ordered you not to follow the federal mandates,” said John Carroll, Cumberland Law School Professor and former federal judge.

There is no legal battle now because there is no federal order or rules adopted for mandatory vaccinations by December 8th. Former federal judge John Carroll said Gov. Ivey’s order does not impact businesses.

“Everyone in the state including the governor and attorney general made clear if a private business says you have to be vaccinated, they have that right and power,” Carroll said.

Auburn University and the University of Alabama System both said they will comply with the President’s order to prevent the possible loss of millions of federal dollars. Carroll added Ivey’s order really has a limited impact on the people in the state of Alabama.

“She is really setting out the policy of state of Alabama is against vaccine mandates. Period. We don’t like them we don’t approve of them. They infringe on individual rights but that is far as it goes,” Carroll said.

Carroll said this is heading to a federal court battle where it determines if this is, as Governor Ivey says, a government overreach or not. But remember, the US Supreme Court has already ruled in a mandatory smallpox vaccination case for Massachusetts case in 1905. Vaccines could be mandated for the public good, so the precedent exists.

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