Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorneys working on behalf of the Christian Employers Alliance (CEA), a nonprofit representing Christian-owned businesses, co-filed a petition in the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Friday to challenge the Biden Administration's vaccine mandate for private businesses.
In the lawsuit, State of Missouri v. Biden, CEA has joined with the states — along with private plaintiffs AAI, Inc. and Doolittle Trailer Manufacturing, Inc. — to challenge the Biden administration's actions as unconstitutional and outside the government's statutory authority. The lawsuit does not address the use of the COVID-19 vaccine but focuses on what is being called extraordinary government overreach into the lives and businesses of the American people.
"The federal government is attempting to interfere with employees' private health decisions and their religious convictions," said CEA president Shannon Royce. "Members of the Christian Employers Alliance go to great lengths to care for the health and wellness of their employees."
"These for-profit and nonprofit businesses also believe every person has the God-given right of conscience to do what's in the best interest of themselves and their families," Royce continued. "They believe it violates the dignity of their employees for the federal government to force them to accept the COVID-19 vaccine against their conscience."
Three National Religious Ministries Asks Circuit Courts to Review Vax Mandate
Meanwhile, First Liberty Institute announced on behalf of three of its clients, including Daystar Television Network, the American Family Association, and Answers in Genesis, it will petition the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fifth and Sixth Circuits to review the Biden administration's federal vaccine mandate for employers with over 100 employees.
"As religious ministries, our clients cannot in good conscience force their own employees to violate their deeply held beliefs regarding vaccines," said David Hacker, director of Litigation at First Liberty Institute, a legal organization that protects religious freedom.
"The federal government has no authority to compel employers to violate the personal health care decisions of their employees," Hacker continued. "The Biden administration's order is the latest example of its disdain for both our Constitution and the sincerely held religious beliefs of millions of Americans."
Daystar Television Network is an international, faith-based network "dedicated to spreading the Gospel 24 hours a day, seven days a week". American Family Association is one of the largest pro-family organizations in the country. Answers in Genesis is a world-class, Christ-centered, family attraction, with physical properties—one a full-scale replica of Noah's Ark—located in northern Kentucky. Each organization has over 100 employees, making them subject to the new vaccine mandate.
As CBN News reported in September, President Biden announced new executive orders mandating COVID shots for many private employees as well as all federal employees and contractors. In a sweeping move of executive power, Biden announced his broad vaccine mandate impacting as many as 100 million Americans.
At Biden's direction, this week the Occupational Safety and Health Administration ("OSHA") required all private businesses with 100 or more employees to force every employee to get a COVID vaccine or present a negative COVID test result weekly under the threat of heavy fines.
What do Christian legal groups say about how to get a religious exemption?
HERE ARE SOME USEFUL RESOURCES:
- Liberty Counsel offers tools HERE to assess or apply for religious exemption.
- Alliance Defending Freedom also offers useful information HERE.
MORE FROM CBN NEWS 'Sincerely Held Belief' Key to Religious Objection over COVID Vaccine