California State Senator Melissa Melendez (R- Lake Elsinore) introduced SCR 59 Monday, which encourages the Legislature to amend current law preventing the discrimination against those making informed decisions not to receive a COVID vaccine.
“Californians have a right to decide what they choose to put in their bodies without being threatened with their jobs by government or employers,” said Sen. Melendez. “For an entire year, COVID vaccines were held out to be dangerous by political elites, who only now support strong mandates. Our Constitution allows free-thinking people to take responsibility and make decisions for themselves and their families; and those decisions should be free from retaliation or coercion by their government.”
Melendez’s resolution specifically addresses the following Constitutional issues:
WHEREAS, In a free society, the integrity of personal liberty is firmly recognized and protected, even during times of exigency or emergency, such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic; and
WHEREAS, The California Constitution declares, “All people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy”; and
WHEREAS, The Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), states, “Any preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic medical intervention is only to be carried out with the prior, free and informed consent of the person concerned, based on adequate information. The consent should, where appropriate, be express and may be withdrawn by the person concerned at any time and for any reason without disadvantage or prejudice”; and
WHEREAS, The United States Supreme Court reminds us that “[n]o right is held more sacred, or is more carefully guarded, by the common law, than the right of every individual to the possession and control of his own person, free from all restraint or interference of others, unless by clear and unquestionable authority of law”, and that courts have held that a competent person’s right to refuse unwanted medical treatment is both a constitutional and a common law right; and
WHEREAS, The Ninth Amendment to the United States Constitution clarifies and memorializes, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”; and
WHEREAS, The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects United States citizens, as “[n]o State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”; and
WHEREAS, The United States Supreme Court has reminded us that “[t]he Constitution was adopted in a period of grave emergency. Its grants of power to the federal government and its limitations of the power of the States were determined in the light of emergency, and they are not altered by emergency.”
There are more “whereases,” but these are the legal issues, with links added in.
Put simply, SCR 59 confirms the Legislature’s resolve to amend California Health and Safety Code Section 120140 with future legislation to support the constitutional mandate that “all people are by nature free and independent…”. These changes would ensure that Californians must provide consent for any preventative, diagnostic or therapeutic medical interventions taken by the state with regards to a disease and its potential spread and the decision to withhold consent will not result in any disadvantage, Melendez’s press statement said.
“Cities across this state have or are considering mandates seeking to segregate out the vaxxed from the unvaxxed” said Melendez. “California shouldn’t promote the open discrimination of those who’ve made a choice when substantial outbreaks in highly vaccinated places like Israel, Malta and Vermont make it obvious that an increase in vaccination rates doesn’t necessarily guarantee a reduction in COVID cases. Asking for passports or papers to verify your vaccine status to ride a bus, attend school or receive benefits is simply un-American.”
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