The year 2022 begins with hope that the Biden Administration’s alarming overreach and disregard for religious liberty in 2021 will be stopped.
When the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments on Friday, January 7, it must remember that religious liberty is an unalienable right. As James Madison explained, religion represents “a duty towards the Creator,” which “is precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society.”
That’s why The Family Foundation joined 30 other family policy organizations in filing a legal brief at the U.S. Supreme Court emphasizing what is at stake—protecting religious liberty has been of paramount importance since the Founding; Congress and the states are highly protective of religious liberty when making laws; but agencies tend to under protect religious liberty, a problem exacerbated when agencies exceed their statutory authority like OSHA has done.
Wherever you are in the vaccine debate, we can all agree that Biden’s use of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue a national vaccine mandate for employees is an unacceptable back of the hand to religious liberty.
The lack of protection for religious liberty within the national vaccine mandate follows from the undemocratic design of most modern administrative agencies.
Early proponents of the administrative state advocated for increased agency authority because it could regulate without persuading “a voting majority” or having to overcome “meddlesome” public opinion. This anti-American sentiment has continued with a former Director of the Office of Management and Budget claiming, in 2011, that “we need less democracy,” that our current democratic process has produced “too much of a good thing,” and that making “our political institutions… less democratic” would benefit the country.
As our legal brief explains, this anti-American approach has dire consequences:
“Unlike Congress and the states, federal agencies have historically been inattentive to religious liberty. They often disregard potential effects of their rules on religious exercise, leading to results that the political process would not otherwise countenance… OSHA’s rule here epitomizes these problems, as the agency invoked a novel reading of its own statutory authority to avoid any public participation at all through notice-and-comment rulemaking and then all but ignored the significant religious liberty implications of its rule.”
The Family Foundation’s stand on this issue isn’t political, rather it is necessary to preserve faith, family, and freedom. Biden’s OSHA vaccine mandate epitomizes agency disregard of religious exercise protections and an unprecedented attempt to exceed its statutory authority.