(SALEM, OR.) – Oregon once again made national headlines last week for being the first state in the union to move forward with a vaccine verification system for its residents.
The May 18 Interim Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Individuals, from the Oregon Health Authority, reads “a business, employer or faith institution that has a policy requesting and checking for proof of vaccination and requests and reviews proof of vaccination may permit fully vaccinated individuals with proof of vaccination to go without a mask, face covering or face shield, and does not need to enforce physical distancing requirements for such individuals”.
The Freedom Foundation quickly released a statement, condemning the guidance and demanding the governor rescind the order.
“The Freedom Foundation was the first to sue Gov. Brown over her mask mandates last year and we’re prepared to fight her in court over this ludicrous vaccine passport, as well.
Today, The Freedom Foundation began making good on its promise to challenge Governor Kate Brown’s implementation of “vaccine passports” in Oregon.
A demand letter sent to Governor Brown and the Oregon Health Authority argues that the guidance violates the right to be free from compelled speech and association guaranteed by the First Amendment, the right to informational privacy guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment, and the right to equal protection of the law, also guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment.
The letter gives the Governor three options – rescind the order entirely, provide Oregonians data to justify why the guidance is necessary, or expect the matter to be resolved in court.
“The fact that the Governor has not yet rescinded the order is laughable,” said Jason Dudash, Oregon Director of the Freedom Foundation.
Dudash continued, “This guidance puts Oregon’s Coronavirus response at odds with the CDC, the White House, and nearly every other state in the country, save our equally tyrannical governor to the north, Jay Inslee. Assuredly this is not because our Governor has a brilliant mind for public health policy; rather it’s because everyone else can recognize the glaring flaws and significant constitutional issues that exist in implementing a policy such as this”.
“At every step through this pandemic, Gov. Brown has showcased her disdain and her distrust of Oregonians. She needs to recognize individuals from every walk of life have made immense sacrifices over the last year to get through the pandemic. The Freedom Foundation trusts Oregonians to make good decisions and will continue to fight the Governor’s heavy-handed and regressive policymaking”.