Washington's Vaccine Lawsuits
The 19th-century art critic John Ruskin once observed that the qualities of the rich and the poor differ greatly. The rich, according to Ruskin, will, generally speaking, be industrious, prompt, covetous, methodical, insensitive, ignorant, and proud. The poor, on the other hand, will be made up of a motley crew of “the entirely foolish, the entirely wise, the idle, the reckless, the humble, the thoughtful, the dull, the imaginative, the sensitive, the well-informed, the improvident, the irregularly and impulsively wicked, the clumsy knave, the open thief, and the entirely merciful, just, and godly person.”
When reading the lawsuits against Governor Jay Inslee’s vaccine mandates in Washington state, this quote comes to mind. Those resisting are a motley crew of dissenters, of state troopers, healthcare workers, firefighters, women, men, black, white, single, married, pregnant, not pregnant, those who have already had COVID, those who don’t know if they’ve had COVID, the very sick, the very healthy, the anti-vaxxers, the pro-vaxxers (who normally take vaccines but don’t want this one), the very religious, the anti-religious, and everything else in between.
William and Sherra Cleary’s Case: Harking Back to the Washington Constitution
To listen to William and Sherra Cleary’s story is to begin to see the madness of a blanket mandate like the one Governor Inslee issued in August. The Clearys have one daughter and wanted another child, but a few years ago Sherra Cleary miscarried her second baby. Now pregnant again with another child who has been clinically diagnosed with a heart condition in utero, the couple applied for but were denied, a medical exemption based on their unborn baby’s health. Since both work for government entities, they both could lose their jobs and be without health insurance prior to the birth.
The deadline for state employees to be vaccinated is October 18th, less than a week away. All those who do not comply, according to Inslee’s executive order, face termination.
The case of William and Sherra Cleary was filed against Governor Inslee and the state of Washington in Walla Walla County on September 10th. According to the plaintiffs, the COVID-19 vaccine mandate “exceeds the authority of [Governor Inslee’s] office by the Washington Constitution statute” and “violates the rights guaranteed to the state worker by the Washington constitution and applicable laws.”
Among the violations of the mandate, the lawsuit contends, are:
- A violation of the separation of powers
- A violation of the plaintiffs’ rights to life, liberty, and property
- A violation of the right to privacy
- A violation of religious freedoms
- A violation of freedom of speech and assembly
- A violation of Washington law against discrimination
Joseph Jensen’s Case: Harking Back to the Constitution
Joseph B. Jensen, Sr, is a Richland, Washington man who works on the Hanford nuclear site as a subcontractor for the Federal government. He filed a lawsuit against Joe Biden, Jay Inslee, and Anthony Fauci in response to Biden’s order that all federal employees get the vaccine or undergo regular testing. Jensen includes his son in the lawsuit because “as a father,” he is “entrusted with protecting and enforcing (his child’s) rights.”
He says that the mandates violate his right to “bodily autonomy and bodily integrity” and that they constitute “cruel, unusual, and unnecessary punishment.” Jensen also contends that mandatory COVID testing is “an unwarranted intrusion into the core principle” of the Constitution that people shall be secure in their person, as well as being “an invasive body search in which a biological sample is taken from the person.”
It’s tempting to think of Jensen’s lawsuit as flailing around while handcuffed and bound. Many would say that he should find other work and give up his job as a subcontractor for the federal government. We live in a time when the majority have little patience for those who hark back to our “inalienable rights,” our Constitution, and our founders’ vision for a separation of powers but keep in mind that Jensen’s lawsuit stands as a testimony to opposition to the tyrants who hold our livelihood in their hands.
Governor Inslee’s Office: Exemption Approval Not a Guarantee of Continued Employment
In the beginning, the governor said the state would make religious and medical exemptions available. In practice, those exemptions have been hard to come by. The state also has a loophole in that they may approve your exemption and yet still fire you if they can’t find you an accommodation away from the public.
It almost makes one believe that something more sinister is in effect, a purging of sorts. Could it be that the state of Washington wants a particular type of individual in public service? That is, it does not want the kind who abide by the Constitution, but the kind who step in line and follow their federal and state overlords and take the jab.
Image: US Secretary of Defense
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