Wyoming Assistant U.S. Attorney Challenges Vaccine Mandate

in News/Coronavirus

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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

An assistant U.S. Attorney in Wyoming is suing President Joe Biden and a group of other federal officials over the requirement for federal employees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Margaret Vierbuchen, a 25-year employee of the federal government, is asking the U.S. District Court in Wyoming to block federal agencies from demanding that she and other federal employees get the COVID vaccine or face the loss of their jobs.

“No law passed by Congress .. authorizes such a sweeping intrusion into the lives and medical decisions of America’s federal civil servants,” the lawsuit said. “Nor does the Constitution give the president such monarchial power.”

Biden announced in September that he would require federal employees, health care workers and workers at companies employing more than 100 people to get the coronavirus vaccine. The mandates for health care workers and large employers are being reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

According to the lawsuit, filed Jan. 4, Vierbuchen, who has spent the last six years as an assistant U.S. Attorney in Wyoming and New Mexico, caught the coronavirus and recovered from it, giving her antibodies against the illness.

The lawsuit said Vierbuchen is refusing to get the vaccination, which has resulted in threats of the loss of her job.

“For her failure to obey the president’s illegal command, the defendants have threatened that she will lose her job and, contrary to federal law, they will strip away the retirement benefits she has earned through her service,” it said.

The lawsuit said Vierbuchen has also been forced to submit to intrusive COVID-19 tests and has had access to her workplace restricted because she refuses the vaccination.

The lawsuit said Biden’s order “exceeds the lawful authority of his office” and violates Vierbuchen’s due process rights, right to privacy and her right to be free of unwanted and unnecessary medication.

The lawsuit, which also names as defendants the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and the directors of the General Services Administration and Office of Management and Budget, argued Biden had no authority to impose a vaccine mandate.

“Never has the executive branch claimed authority to compel all federal civilian employees to submit to the forcible injection of medication against their will,” it said. 

Congress has never given the president the authority to issue such a mandate for civil servants, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit also argued that federal employees do not give up their constitutional freedoms because they are employed by the federal government.

“Federal employees do not lose their personal autonomy over medical decisions by agreeing to serve the people of the United States,” it said. “Nor do executive branch officials have dictatorial authority over the lives and livelihoods of those they supervise.”

The lawsuit asks the court to find that Biden’s mandate is unenforceable and that its implementation has violated Vierbuchen’s constitutional rights.

The lawsuit also asks the court to block officials from requiring Vierbuchen “and others similarly situated” to comply with the mandate.

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