A Franklin County Lawsuit Brought By Employee Against Gov. Inslee's Proclamation Is Still Slowly Moving Through The Courts.


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The Silent Majority Foundation (SMF) attorney Pete Serrano, is interviewed on the 610 KONA Bottom Line Radio show providing information about the beginning lawsuit against Governor Jay Inslee and an employee of Coyote Ridge Correctional Center.

The case was first filed in the Franklin County Superior Court on September 10. The plaintiff brought three counts against Gov. Jay Inslee and was seeking injunctive relief by the court while his religious exemption was being considered.  He has been working at the time of the interview on September 14, 2021.

Serrano explained that the lawsuit challenges the vaccination mandate itself.  They have a couple of causes.  They have been seeking injunction relief for the court to stop Jay Inslee, to stop the proclamation while they review it.  He explained that can be a temporary injunction going throughout the litigation or it could be permanent.

Serrano further explained  that the injunction must show there are parties in conflict, so in their case they have someone whose job is at stake vs. a governor's order which could cause the man direct harm associated with the vaccine.  There is a question as to whether the vaccine could cause side-effects or worse.  The legal team believes there is harm that the vaccine could cause the plaintiff.   The harm does not have to have occurred but poses a risk in the future.  The court must have the ability to settle the argument so they are challenging the mandate, and they do so by; 

"stating the way that religious exemptions are playing out violate an individual's first amendment, freedom of religion, as well as under Article 1 Section 11 and 12 of the state constitution and the 14th Amendment, which you know is the equal protections clause, because we're seeing certain people are subject to this and others are not" - Pete Serrano.  

"We think the mandate is a violation of the separation of powers.  The legislature laid out pandemic influenza plans statutorily 10, uh, 15 years ago now when Avian Flu occurred in '06 and why didn't we follow that plan? Why did Jay Inslee say he's got these emergency powers?" Serrano asked.  He wants the court to determine why that happened.

The third count is asking the court to recognize this is a violation "of a longstanding fundamental right over one's own bodily integrity, or the right to informed consent as we know it."

Serrano said they have emails between Jay Inslee's General Counsel and the Attorney General's office that explain a limited scope of religious exemptions so it seems they're trying to narrow the scope on granting religious exemptions.

The October 5 update was that the Supreme Court was going to move the venue for hearing the case for an  injunctive relief to Thurston county but the SMF was able to fight the change of venue and won their argument so that the case would stay in Franklin County as posted on their website October 5, but as of October 10 the case was possibly being moved to Thurston county after all depending on an appeal SMF has filed.

On October 10 Serrano filed a 30 page response in answer to an emergency appeal filed to the Supreme Court by the AG's office.  SMF challenged the validity of the appeal and asked that the case be expedited or thrown out.  SMF is waiting to hear what the court does with the appeal.

The SMF state they are encouraged that during the last few weeks there have been other cases in the U.S. that have won injunctive reliefs against vaccination mandates.  They cite the following links:

Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks New York Vaccine Mandate for Health Care Workers Seeking Religious Exemptions

University Policy Mandating COVID-19 Vaccines for Student-Athletes Blocked by Sixth Circuit

United Airlines’ Vaccine Mandate Program Is Limited by Court

It must be noted that there are lawsuits challenging the challenges to the vaccination mandate around the country such as in these cases:

U.S. Supreme Court justice rejects challenge to Maine COVID-19 vaccine mandate

U.S. court upholds hospital employee COVID-19 vaccine rule in test case

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