After being initially quite critical of the un-vaccinated, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) issued a strongly worded statement against the federal vaccine mandate imposed by President Joe Biden (D).
Ivey has issued an Executive Order dated the 25th of October instructing state agencies to work with the Alabama attorney general’s office in order to coordinate a legal response to the mandate. The order does not outright instruct noncompliance, however, and state agencies are still directed to comply with federal law regarding the vaccine mandate.
The order comes with a statement from Ivey, in which she spoke out strongly against the “egregious” vaccine mandates:
“The federal government’s outrageous overreach has simply given us no other option, but to begin taking action, which is why I am issuing this executive order to fight these egregious covid-19 vaccine mandates. Alabamians – and Americans alike – should and must have the choice to roll up their sleeves to get this shot and certainly not forced by government. While President Biden laughs at the idea of protecting your freedoms, I will continue fighting for Alabama businesses and their employees.”
The governor went on to say that the real battle will be fought in courtrooms:
“If the federal government presses on with these new federal mandates, then the Biden White House has once again failed the American people. As I have stated, no doubt, this will be challenged in federal courts. I am already working in concert with Attorney General Steve Marshall, because Alabama is standing firm in this fight. This latest move by the federal government is what I believe is an illegal overreach, and I am confident we will win the battle in the courts.”
In line with this philosophy of a legal battle, however, and in spite of the tough talk, the “action” being taken by the order is mostly symbolic, with state agencies simply being directed to “take all practical steps to notify the affected business or individual that the State of Alabama does not approve, condone, or otherwise endorse the imposition of such a penalty.” No provision is made for any action beyond informing the relevant party that Alabama does not approve.
In the past, Ivey has been critical of the un-vaccinated, and in July she made it quite clear that she blames them and only them for the rise in Covid-19 cases in Alabama. This has been taken by some to mean that she is a proponent of government vaccine mandates, as most Democrat-run states have imposed, alongside the Biden administration.
However, Ivey appears to have been consistent in not forcing vaccination through mandates, despite it being clear how she feels about those opting out:
“I’ve done all I know how to do. I can encourage you to do something but I can’t make you take care of yourself,” Ivey said at a press conference in July.
Regardless of her feelings on the un-vaccinated, with this order and its accompanying statement, Ivey seems to have blasted the Biden administration’s mandates in terms that leave no room for walking back or compromising:
“Alabamians are overwhelmingly opposed to these outrageous, Biden mandates, and I stand firmly with them.”
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