Joe Biden has used one trick over and over when he’s faced with a question he can’t answer, or doesn’t want to answer, or would be embarrassed to answer.
He uses his conversation stopper comment “Come on, man.”
It’s perceived as being dismissive, sarcastic, abrasive and even filled with ridicule.
But it has many times done what he wants: end an uncomfortable questioning.
But now a constitutional expert says such a maneuver won’t serve Biden well if he implements it to abuse people who have religious objections to COVID-19 vaccination mandates.
“The categorical rejection of any religious-exemption case runs against the grain of the Constitution as well as federal statutes,” Jonathan Turley explained in a new column.
“If the Justice Department goes into court with the president’s dismissive position, it could find itself on the wrong side of the next ‘come on, man’ moment,” he wrote.
Turley is a chaired law professor at George Washington University, has testified before Congress as well as represented Congress, and is a frequent commentator on issues of public concern.
He explained Biden’s “signature response to any uncomfortable question” is recognized as being “both dismissive and conclusive.”
“This week, however, it was not the pesky press but freedom itself that got hit with a version of the comeback. When asked during a CNN town hall program about those still objecting to taking COVID vaccines, Biden mocked them and their claimed rights with ‘Come on, ‘freedom.’ He then called for any police officers, firefighters, medical personnel or other first responders to be fired en masse if they refuse to be vaccinated,” Turley explained.
Such rhetoric, Turley explained, isn’t unusual among leftists.
But in reality, when it comes time for decision in court cases, he pointed out, “the courts already recognize some religious exemption arguments.”
Those are based on the Constitution as well as laws like Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Under those Americans cannot be subjected to discrimination “because of such individual’s …. religion.”
Several states have tried adopting blanket rejections of religious concerns over the vaccines, which are either made or tested with the byproducts of abortion.
But courts haven’t let them do exactly as they want, yet, he said.
“In New York, the state is appealing a preliminary injunction against its refusal to allow religious exemptions to its vaccine mandate. A lower court found the governor’s mandate ‘has effectively foreclosed the pathway to seeking a religious accommodation that is guaranteed under Title VII,'” he wrote.
Similar circumstances are appearing in a 6th Circuit case.
The Supreme Court already is facing the issue with a fight from Maine over the state’s decision to allow medical but not religious exemptions, he said.
What’s correct, he explained, is that “religious claims are balanced against the interests of the state in public health cases. That, however, is precisely what these litigants are seeking to raise. Most states allow for such exemptions while many private employers impose alternative measures, such as daily testing or remote-working conditions. States like Maine and New York offer no recognition, let alone accommodation, for religious objections to the COVID vaccine.”
He noted that “religious objections can be recognized as valid but still fail to overcome countervailing arguments or simple accommodations.”
And, he said, there may be limitations like remote working requirements.
But he said the principle is that “Just as religious individuals do not have the absolute right to refuse any obligation as citizens, governments do not have an absolute right to impose any obligations on citizens.”
He cited the leftists’ attacks on those with vaccine concerns.
“People who object to vaccines are deemed ‘insurrectionists,’ while raising religious freedoms is now likened to claiming ‘the freedom to kill you with my COVID,'” he said.
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