Via America’s Lawyer: 24 Republican state attorneys general allege President Biden’s vaccine mandate is illegal. But is it? Mike Papantonio and Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             The Biden administration has announced a new vaccine mandate for private corporations, leaving many to wonder if this is even legal. Joining me now to talk about this is Farron Cousins for the trial lawyer magazine. Farron, you know, my quick take is yes, it is legal and yes, these attorney generals are going to be, these attorneys general are going to bring the cases anyway. It’s, it’s a show. I mean, OSHA laid the groundwork for this back in, I think 1970 under Nixon.

Farron Cousins:                  Right and even prior to that, you know, over a hundred years ago, we had the US Supreme Court rule in 1905 Jacobson v. Massachusetts that yes, these government bodies do have the authority to implement these powers, to require vaccines, especially in the cases of pandemics of, you know, disease outbreaks. They can do this in order to protect the general public. It says, you know, you bring up all the time the police powers, essentially, the health, safety and welfare, the government has a duty to protect individuals and this is what they deem is necessary and this is what they’re doing.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. Jacobson v. Massachusetts goes a long way back, but there’s some, there, there’s still some flaws getting there with that. But when you have OSHA and OSHA has the right to, to go into any establishment and say, we’re here to protect the health and safety of workers. They can do it if there’s a product that’s causing cancer, they can do something about it. If there’s a defective product that’s causing injury, OSHA can do something about it. So the same power flows to them. The interesting thing about it is, is that it all ties into the commerce clause too. It, so you’ve got two issues. You, you raised one of them police power, which is very strong where it comes to federal government. And then the other one is the commerce clause, which also ties into this because if you’ve got business owners that won’t comply and that business is creating some product, that interferes with a chain of, with the chain of commerce. So there’s always all kinds of ways to get this. But look, let me ask you, the attorneys general are going to bring the cases anyway, right? Isn’t that the way you see it?

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah, absolutely. Especially, you know, all 24 of these attorneys general that have signed on to this letter, they’re all Republican. In fact, all but two of the Republican attorney generals in this country have signed on to this letter. It is a purely partisan thing and it is because their base is far more likely to oppose these mandates, even though majority of them do support the mandates. Majority of all Americans support these mandates. So these attorneys general, while they’re trying to do their, you know, partisan play here, they’re actually going against what most of the public wants. You know, we, we do see the videos of the, the anti maskers and the anti-vaxxers and, you know, they, they throw hissy fits or they arrange protests, whatever it is. But people have to understand those videos do not represent what a majority of people in this country want. Most people want to be protected.

Mike Papantonio:             They want to be safe.

Farron Cousins:                  They want their coworkers to be protected.

Mike Papantonio:             So you’ve got, look, the argument is you’re going to displace, you’re going to displace workers. It’s going to exacerbate the problem in hospitals, because people are going to quit. You got to have hospitals. All of them have more than a hundred employees. That people are going to quit their job. It’s going to put a new strain on companies. It’s going to put a new strain on the labor market. It’s going to put a new strain on the economy. I believe all of that is correct, if you want to know the truth, but when it comes right down to it, we have to save ourselves first, don’t we?

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             We have to live through the day or the labor market doesn’t mean anything. I think there’s a lot of really good economic arguments here. Look, I, you know, the New York Times last time they tried to give us statistics they were caught being so far off it was ridiculous. They were actually creating their own statistics. But if you want to believe the New York Times you got 54% of Americans that are fully vaccined, you’ve got 2000 that, deaths a day, 2000 deaths a day. And you got 98,000 in the hospital all the time. So, I mean, you know, this doesn’t take rocket science. We got to do something about it. It’s going to be a fight. But at the end of the day, White House wins on this one. It’s pretty clear.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.