President Joe Bidenâ€™s vaccine mandate is an â€œextreme burden on the American people,â€ says the grocery store owner at the center of a major anti-mandate lawsuit.
â€œIâ€™m not an anti-vaxxer,â€ Brandon Trosclair, the second-generation owner of aÂ Louisiana-based grocery store chain, said in an interview with The Daily Signal.
â€œIâ€™mÂ not anti-vaccine. I am anti-mandate. It is not my position to get involved with my employeesâ€™ personal medical decisions, and I donâ€™t feel that itâ€™s the federal governmentâ€™sÂ positionÂ to be involved in our employeesâ€™ personal medical decisions as well,â€ he said, adding:
This is just an extreme burden on the American people and on American small-business owners as well.
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Trosclair is the manager of more than a dozen stores that together employ almost 500 workers, according to a Nov. 4 lawsuit, making his employees subject to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations.
Trosclairâ€™s employees â€œwill be adversely affected by the [Emergency Temporary Standard], because they already face worker shortages, and the [standard] would make it even harder to hire and keep employees,â€ says the lawsuit, filed on Trosclairâ€™s behalf by the Liberty Justice Center and the Louisiana-based Pelican Institute for Public Policy. â€œThe [standard] would diminish their ability to provide grocery options to the citizens of Louisiana.â€
â€œNot only is this mandate a blatant overreach by the federal government, it also has a real impact on Americans who are looking for work and business owners who are struggling to keep their doors open,â€ Pelican Institute for Public Policy general counsel Sarah HarbisonÂ said in a statement. â€œThe Biden administrationâ€™s mandate will put up a new barrier to work that hurts peopleâ€™s ability to get a job and provide for their families.â€
5th Circuit Court Blocks Mandate
The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily enjoined the Biden administration mandate on Nov. 6, citing â€œgrave statutory and constitutional issues.â€
The government responded Nov. 8 byÂ arguingÂ that stopping the mandate would â€œcost dozens or even hundreds of lives per day.â€
â€œPetitionersâ€™ asserted injuries, by contrast, are speculative and remote, and do not outweigh the interest in protecting employees from a dangerous virus while this case proceeds,â€ the Biden administration lawyersÂ wrote.
White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre alsoÂ told reportersÂ Nov. 8 that the Biden administration was encouraging businesses not to wait, to â€œmake sure that theyâ€™re getting their workplace vaccinated.â€
â€œWe say: Do not wait to take actions that will keep your workplace safe. It is important and critical to do, and waiting to get more people vaccinated will lead to more outbreaks and sickness,â€ Jean-Pierre said.
Mandate Called â€˜Staggeringly Overbroadâ€™
But on Friday evening, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th CircuitÂ upheld the previous court ruling, writing that Bidenâ€™s mandate is â€œstaggeringly overbroadâ€ and likely â€œviolates the constitutional structure that safeguards our collective liberty.â€
â€œWe are thrilled that the 5th Circuit reaffirmed their initial stay on the Biden administrationâ€™s unconstitutionalÂ OSHAÂ vaccine mandate,â€ Harbison told The Daily Signal.
â€œThe court recognized thatÂ OSHA is no more suitedÂ to make health policy than the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] is authorized to make housing policy,â€ she added. â€œThe Pelican Institute and Liberty Justice Center will continue to fight to make sure business owners like Brandon Trosclair are protected from potentiallyÂ ruinous government overreach.â€
Trosclair told The Daily Signal that he is ready to â€œtake this fight all the wayâ€ to the Supreme Court if he has to.
â€œMy father was in the grocery business as a young man, while he was in high school,â€ he explained. â€œHe worked for Winn-Dixie, and he stayed with Winn-Dixie for quite a while, and came to work at Ralphâ€™s Market in 1987 to run their meat department.â€
â€œIt was a one-store operation,â€ he continued. â€œAnd through the years, Mr. Ralph passed away, and my dad was fortunate enough to purchase that one operation in the year 2000.â€
Two days after Trosclair turned 15, he said, he started working at the store and â€œfell in love with the business.â€ The family grew their businesses to three locations, which Trosclair said he purchased from his parents.
Since then, he said, he has added a fourth store and bought 12 Save A Lot stores across southern Louisiana and Mississippi.
â€œSince the lawsuit has been filed, an overwhelming amount of people have been pulling me to the side, shaking my hand,â€ Trosclair said.
Those employees tell him, â€œThank you for standing up for your employeesâ€ and â€œThank you for standing up for the American worker,â€ he said.
â€œThere has been nothing but support,â€ he said, describing â€œoverwhelming supportâ€ from his staff, from the public, and from shoppers.
In a press release,Â the Liberty Justice Center said that it is also representing Texas-based employees of a second business that would also be affected by the mandateâ€”CaptiveAire, a company that manufactures and services commercial ventilation systems.
â€œThe Biden administrationâ€™s illegal vaccine mandate for private companies represents the most egregious government overreach in our generation,â€ Liberty Justice Center managing attorneyÂ Daniel Suhr said in a statement.Â
â€œNo matter how you feel about the COVID vaccine, every American should be outraged,â€ he added. â€œApparently, the Biden administrationâ€™s COVID strategy is this: Circumvent Congress, ignore the Constitution, then threaten and bully millions of Americans to get vaccinated against their will. Itâ€™s an assault on the U.S. Constitution, which the president has sworn to uphold.â€
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