It is all the rage these days for petty tyrants to try and force others to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, whether those people want or need one.
The city commission in Gainesville, Florida attempted to do exactly that with regard to city employees, but a state judge just intervened on behalf of the employees and issued a temporary injunction blocking enforcement of the city’s vaccine mandate, Breitbart reported.
It all started in early August when a “state of emergency” was declared for Florida’s Alachua County, prompting a reaction from overzealous city commissioners in Gainesville, according to local ABC affiliate WCJB.
In addition to unanimously imposing a mask mandate on city employees and the public, as well as openly expressed hostility toward Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), the city commission voted 4–3 in favor of imposing a vaccine mandate on all city employees with limited exceptions, and termination for those who failed to comply.
That decision received immediate pushback from those who didn’t want or need the vaccine — as well as those who are vaccinated but opposed such mandates — and Breitbart noted that around 200 city employees had filed a lawsuit against the city by late August.
AG joins fight
A separate report from Breitbart noted that Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody (R) announced that she would be joining that lawsuit on behalf of the city employees fighting back against the “unconscionable” requirement that forced people to choose between the vaccine or remaining employed.
“This is not about whether or not someone should strongly consider the vaccine. … This is about, very simply, how much power do our government officials have when we have never given them that power to do something like this,” Moody said a press conference.
In referencing other “egregious” and “unacceptable” government overreaches across the country, she continued, “They did not have the power. Courts agreed with that. And now you have city officials saying they are going to fire employees if they don’t take a vaccine. It is unlawful. It is directly contradicting Florida law.”
Privacy rights at risk
Now, little more than a week after AG Moody filed an amicus brief in support of the city employees opposed to the Gainesville vaccine mandate, WUSF public media reported that Alachua Civil Circuit Judge Monica Brasington issued a temporary injunction blocking enforcement of the mandate.
Jeff Childers, the lead attorney for the employees, said: “The strongest argument we have is the Florida constitution’s strong right to privacy, which includes a right to complete bodily autonomy and a right to refuse unwanted medical procedures, so that the city of Gainesville cannot treat its employees’ bodies like property.”
It appears that Judge Brasington agreed, as WUSF reported that she cited Florida’s privacy rights and a failure of city officials to provide evidence justifying the invasion of privacy that is inherent in forced vaccinations in her decision to issue the injunction.
The injunction blocks the city from enforcing the vaccine mandate or punishing any employees who fail to comply and will remain in place until further orders are issued from that court or an appeals court.