Gov. Kate Brown (D-OR) is being sued by a united group of Oregon state troopers and firefighters over the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all state workers.
The suit aims to halt the mandate for good and its enforcement and alleges that the vaccine requirement violates the plaintiffs' right to freedom of expression, both at the federal and at the state level. According to Oregon Live, the lawsuit states:
"With very few exceptions, none of which apply here, all speech and expressive conduct are constitutionally protected. Plaintiffs' right to control their own medical destinies is both expressive speech in the form of opposition to the COVID-19 vaccine, and expressive conduct in opposition to the vaccine mandate."
If the lawsuit is ruled in the plaintiffs' favor, this could have nationwide repercussions for other areas with similar vaccine mandates in place.
The plaintiffs named in the case are the Fraternal Order of Police, as well as Troopers Todd Burke, Dan Chichester, Cory Sweet, Jered Coates, Michael Hansen, Brian Glaser, Major Crimes Team Sgt. Darin LaDick, Sgt. Mike Berland and Capt. Ryan Martin, as well as an association of firefighters representing the 173rd Fighter Wing of the air division of Oregon's National Guard.
State Trooper Zachary Kowing works in Bend, Oregon, and on Wednesday he was placed on paid leave after it came to light that he had recorded a video saying that he would not be getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
"This lawsuit has nothing to do with the efficacy of the vaccine at this point. It has to do with having their jobs held over their heads," Dan Thenell, the lawyer who filed the lawsuit and was retained by the eclectic group, stated.
Brown has also been under public scrutiny for alleged ties to the Communist Party of China. As outlined by The National Pulse's coverage, Brown has connections with Beijing's United Front Work Department, a foreign organization that's designed to soften Western backlash to Chinese influence. Brown attended the September 2015 China-US Governors Forum event held by the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC).