Tennessee's Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles announced that he is willing to go to jail for defying President Joe Biden's vaccine mandate, before the Supreme Court shot it down.
Faithwire reported that Ogles made the announcement this week out of standing for the rights of his employees to decide on their own healthcare. Ogles is renowned to be an outspoken conservative and a strong supporter of former President Donald Trump.
"Maury County government will not comply with any OSHA mandate that forces an employee to be vaccinated against their will. It should be noted that I am not anti-vaccine, but your healthcare is your business and I will willfully go to jail before forcing any of you to take the vaccine," Ogles said.
Biden announced in early November that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the Department of Labor and the Medicare and Medicaid Services of the Department of Health will be implementing new policies to enforce his vaccine mandates, particularly, for private companies with at least 100 employees.
Various companies and states filed a lawsuit against the said mandates such that, days after its enforcement, the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced suspension of its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private companies following a decision from the Court of Appeals to do so. The OSHA then requested the 6th Court of Appeals to dismiss the order and reinstate the mandate.
In December, the United States Supreme Court decided to weigh oral arguments on the vaccine mandates on a special session set last January 7, 2022. This review involved not only OSHA's vaccine mandate but that of the Medicare's as well. The justices in particularly will decide the answer to the question of the federal government having the authority to force employees to undergo vaccination. The decision comes in the face of various lawsuits filed by states on the vaccine mandates.
The Supreme Court was reported to be skeptical of the mandates during the special session set last week. Accordingly, a majority of the conservative judges at 6 to 3 find the OSHA "overstepped its legal authority."
WZTV Nashville reported that Ogles released a statement addressed to the County's employees regarding the OSHA vaccine mandate whose fate is currently pending in the Supreme Court.
Ogles, who is also a radio talk host, spoke of the OSHA's persistent claims to enforce its mandate even after the Supreme Court would rule against it.
"Ogles is renowned to be an outspoken conservative and a strong supporter of former President Donald Trump," Ogles stressed.
Ogles assured his County employees that he and "HR are keeping a close watch on the Supreme Court and their decision" and will "update" them "once we have further information" is available.
WZTV Nashville created an online poll on Ogles' stand on the issue, raising the authority of mayors to do so in line with federal policy. Asking, "Do you think mayors should have the authority to comply or not comply with federal mandates?" A majority of netizens who joined the poll or 56.5% agree, while 41.6% disagree, and 1.9% had another opinion on the matter.