Parents from across California showed up at the State Capitol Monday to once again push back against Gov. Gavin Newsom’s COVID-19 vaccine and mask mandate for students. As with the last parent rally in November, moms, dads, children, grandparents, teachers, and concerned citizens, showed up en masse at the Capitol armed with homemade signs to protest public schools and teachers unions, which pushed to keep schools closed, forced kids into distance learning, and wearing masks all day, and now Gov. Newsom’s mandatory vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, and 12 and older.
Organizers “Our Children, Our Choice” Tess Van Dusen and Amber Faddis stressed they were at the Capitol to ask the Gov. Newsom and the Legislature to rescind the mandates and end the state of emergency, and return local control to school boards.
At the root of the rally is “medical freedom” for these parents, most who say they aren’t necessarily opposed to vaccines, but opposed to vaccine mandates. The Globe spoke with parents whose children are otherwise fully vaccinated, but say Gov. Gavin Newsom’s COVID vaccine mandate is unconstitutional and a violation of their medical freedoms.
This legal issue was addressed at the rally. Attorney Tracy Henderson spoke directly to parents and told them that school boards, schools and parents have been misled. She said state attorneys for the California Department of Public Health, the agency issuing the COVID mandates, did not follow proper legal procedure via the Administrative Procedures Act, so the “mandates” are really not mandates, because they are non-binding. As the Globe has repeatedly noted, the CDPH is issuing “guidances;” it’s the school districts calling them “mandates.”
This is spelled out in the San Diego lawsuit, Let Them Breathe et al v. Gavin Newsom, Dr. Tomas Aragon, State Public Health Officer; Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. Naomi Bardach, Successful Schools Team Lead and Safe Schools for All Team, Lead for the Department of Health and Human Services of the State of California.
The lawsuit, filed in July, alleged that Gov. Newsom and his Public Health officials never bothered with the Administrative Procedures Act, according to Attorney Henderson. The APA establishes rulemaking procedures and standards for state agencies in California, as explained in this Globe article.
The lawsuit goes into extensive detail about the myriad harmful effects of mask mandates, quarantining, and lockdowns on children, while not being allowed a reasonable alternative to in-person instruction.
The lawsuit then explains violations of the Administrative Procedure Act:
The Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) provides: “No state agency shall
issue, utilize, enforce, or attempt to enforce any guideline, criterion, bulletin, manual,
instruction, order, standard of general application, or other rule, which is a regulation as defined
in Section 11342.600, unless the guideline, criterion, bulletin, manual, instruction, order,
standard of general application, or other rule has been adopted as a regulation and filed with the
Secretary of State pursuant to [the APA].” (Gov. Code, § 11340.5, subd. (a).)
Compliance with the APA, which requires among other things public notice and
comment for proposed regulations, is not a mere technicality. The procedures required by the
APA ensure that regulations are clear and understandable to the public, are based on accurate
data and sound scientific principles, and are consistent with the law.
Attorney Henderson said San Diego got it right on the vaccine issue.
In one of the lawsuits, San Diego Superior Court Cynthia Freeland identified the CDPH “recommendations” versus “mandates.” Judge Freeland wrote in response in her order (below): “Defendants posit that it is not possible for recommendations, which school districts remain free to implement or not, to cause concrete injury to Plaintiffs that can be attributed to Defendants.”
She also said, “Of more significance, the remainder of the quote attributed to Dr. Aragon renders Plaintiffs’ current “de facto mandate” argument simply untenable.”
And, “Finally, Plaintiffs cite no legal authority for the proposition that governmental recommendations become mandates because of the actions of third parties such as insurance companies insuring schools.”
Even more damning was this footnote: “When the issue of recommendation versus mandate was addressed at the hearing, Plaintiffs requested that, to the extent that the Defendants are conceding that the testing strategies and the quarantine protocols are recommendations, the Court issue an order clarifying that the testing strategies and quarantine protocols were recommendations that school districts were free to disregard. In response to the Court’s effort to confirm Defendants’ position, Defendants’ counsel reiterated the Defendants’ position that the testing strategies and quarantine protocols are recommendations only. This, coupled with the plain language of the Guidance, further resolves the issue for the Court that the testing strategies and the quarantine protocols are recommendations, not mandates.”
The CDPH conceded (on page 4) that the guidance is non-binding. They know it is non-binding and they are misleading and strong arming everyone into thinking otherwise.
There will be more lawsuits coming in the very near future.
Will Witt with Prager U wooed the parent audience when he opened his talk with, “I wish Gavin Newsom would come out because I’d give him a copy of the Constitution. I don’t think he has ever seen one before.”
Pastor Greg Fairrington from Destiny Church in Rocklin, California, has spoken at most of the parent rallies, and encourages parents to band together to fight the mandates. “Stand firm and let nothing move you,” Pastor Fairrington said. He told parents to call on every school board, every city council, county board of supervisors, every elected official, to stand up and speak out, and send a message: “These are our children, and this is our choice.”
He added, “Tuesday November 8, 2022 we are going to elect a new governor to our state.”
Matthew Oliver, owner of House of Oliver wine lounge & restaurant in Roseville, CA. Oliver, Senior Pastor at The Family Church, and father of five, has protested the business and school lockdowns since the beginning in March 2020, spoke. Senators Shannon Grove and Brian Jones, and Assemblymen Kevin Kiley and James Gallagher, also spoke. Boomer Bennett, Founder and Student Director at JesusFollowr University, MC’d the rally.
There were many additional speakers at the rally including Chase Coughlin and Celeste Fiehler, who introduced a 17-year old with a heart condition who was forced to leave school, because he can’t wear a mask or get the vaccine. He is on a wait-list for a heart transplant.MaskCOURTruling.highlighted
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