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ACLU claims vaccine mandates 'further civil liberties'

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 9/2/2021 Misty Severi
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The American Civil Liberties Union said Thursday that vaccine mandates "actually further civil liberties," despite opponents arguing the restrictions infringe on personal rights.

The civil liberties organization argued vaccine requirements "protect the most vulnerable among us, including people with disabilities and fragile immune systems, children too young to be vaccinated and communities of color hit hard by the disease" and "safeguard those whose work involves regular exposure to the public, like teachers, doctors and nurses, bus drivers and grocery store employees."

"By inoculating people from the disease's worst effects, the vaccines offer the promise of restoring to all of us our most basic liberties, eventually allowing us to return safely to life as we knew it, in schools and at houses of worship and political meetings, not to mention at restaurants, bars, and gatherings with family and friends," the group wrote in a Thursday op-ed in the New York Times.


The ACLU said it was "not shy about defending civil liberties, even when they are very unpopular" but stated it sees "no civil liberties problem with requiring Covid-19 vaccines in most circumstances."

"Vaccines are a justifiable intrusion on autonomy and bodily integrity. That may sound ominous, because we all have the fundamental right to bodily integrity and to make our own health care decisions," the piece continued. "But these rights are not absolute. They do not include the right to inflict harm on others."

The article rebutted supposed justifications made by those opposed to the mandates citing Supreme Court precedent to reject religious objections, which are "not an unfettered license to inflict harm on others."

"In the employment context, federal law requires religious accommodations in some circumstances, but not if they would cause an 'undue hardship' to the employer," the ACLU wrote, citing the "undue hardship" standard established by the 1944 Supreme Court precedent Prince v. Massachusetts. "Refusing a Covid-19 vaccination poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others in the workplace, and likely amounts to an undue hardship unless the employer can devise some other accommodation for the employee, such as working from home."

Some on the Right rejected the ACLU's argument, with Robby Starbuck saying it was "quite the take even from Marxists like you."

"'The government forcing a needle in your arm is actually them furthering your civil liberties' is quite the take even from Marxists like you," he tweeted. "Thank you for dropping the mask to reveal yourselves though."

Kyle Becker, the CEO of Becker News, called the ACLU a "complete disgrace."

"[You're] just a trashy Marxist outfit pretending to care about people's rights as you work to destroy them," he tweeted at the group Thursday.


The debate surrounding vaccine mandates has stretched throughout the United States. While some states, such as Florida and Texas, have banned vaccine passports, others, such as New York and California, have implemented mandates to varying degrees, including wearing masks indoors in some settings.

There have been over 39 million COVID-19 cases confirmed in the U.S. and 642,000 deaths, according to the New York Times.


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Tags: News, Coronavirus, Healthcare, Vaccination

Original Author: Misty Severi

Original Location: ACLU claims vaccine mandates 'further civil liberties'


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