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December 3, 2021

Imagine Firing Federal Workers Over the Vax Mandate

Biden has threatened to reduce the size of government, but he’s also hedging his bets.

Joe Biden is ready to do something Republican presidents and members of Congress have tried unsuccessfully for decades: reduce the federal workforce.

But it’s not exactly what it seems. Biden’s not cleaning house and removing bureaucratic pencil-pushers to save money or create a more efficient government. He’s not a 50-year swamp-dweller finally convinced of the virtues of constitutionally limited government. Instead, he’s preparing to punish those in Big Government’s workforce who refuse to get vaccinated for COVID.

Talk about irony. We all know it’s impossible to get fired from a government job. You can literally watch porn at your desk, work at your own pace, or get written up for not doing your job without any consequences.

“Under ordinary circumstances, firing even a single federal worker is extremely difficult,” writes The Heritage Foundation’s Rachel Greszler. “Federal managers attempting to fire an employee must prove ‘a preponderance of evidence’ and prove that dismissing the employee will improve the performance of the agency. At a minimum, firing a federal worker takes 170 days, but often it takes well over a year — and sometimes even two years. The nearly impossible process of firing a federal worker even with just cause means that federal managers almost never even attempt to dismiss or discipline workers.”

But if you refuse to get the coronavirus vaccine, now that’s crossing the line.

Biden’s message is basically, If you don’t do your job, you’ve got a steady government paycheck for life. But don’t dare refuse the COVID vaccine or you’re fired.

What about all those claims Democrats make whenever conservatives call for shrinking the federal workforce? We’re told every single one of them is a critical cog in the wheel of Big Efficient Government, and that doing away with any of them will threaten the government’s ability to function. Yet, Biden’s putting tens of thousands of jobs on the line over the vaccine.

But did anyone really think Biden was going to follow through?

Just when he seemed ready to carry out the threat, Biden backtracked, telling the American Federation of Government Employees that the unvaccinated will now receive counseling sessions instead of pink slips.

As political analyst Jim Geraghty reports: “The problem with enacting a sweeping get-vaccinated-or-get-fired mandate is that at some point you must enforce it, and when you do, you will likely end up getting rid of good workers who just have an adamant refusal to get vaccinated or who are confident that their past infection and natural immunity gives them sufficient protection. Biden made a threat he wasn’t willing to carry out, and vaccine-skeptical federal workers called his bluff.”

One reason why Biden changed his message might be a recent survey showing most federal employees disagree with vaccine mandates.

Another reason is the inability of vax mandates to pass constitutional muster. On Monday, Missouri U.S. District Judge Matthew Schelp banned the vaccine mandate, but the ruling only covered 10 states. The next day, Louisiana Western District Judge Terry Doughty added a nationwide injunction against Biden’s mandate requiring employees of Medicare and Medicaid to be vaccinated by December 6.

Doughty’s main concern with the mandate is simple but profound: “If the separation of powers meant anything to the Constitutional framers, it meant that the three necessary ingredients to deprive a person of liberty or property — the power to make rules, to enforce them, and to judge their violations — could never fall into the same hands.”

Doughty added: “If the executive branch is allowed to usurp the power of the legislative branch to make laws, two of the three powers conferred by our Constitution would be in the same hands. If human nature and history teach anything, it is that civil liberties face grave risks when governments proclaim indefinite states of emergency.”

Moving forward, it remains to be seen how this will fare in the courts. But for now, the Constitution is on our side. In fact, it may be the only thing we have to keep the Biden administration from abusing its power and trampling upon our Liberty.

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