Coronavirus

If Texas Businesses Are Free To Require Face Masks, Why Can't They Require Proof of Vaccination?

Gov. Greg Abbott's position on private vaccination requirements is confused and confusing.

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The Texas Supreme Court yesterday restored Gov. Greg Abbott's ban on local face mask mandates, which had been blocked by lower courts in cases brought by Dallas and Bexar counties. The Dallas Independent School District, which began the school year today, nevertheless is requiring all staff and students to wear masks, saying the Supreme Court's order, which remains in force until the cases are resolved, does not apply to it.

Meanwhile, private businesses remain free to require masks, but a state law bars them from requiring proof of vaccination. Cruise lines that operate out of Galveston nevertheless are requiring vaccine documentation from passengers, saying they are exempt from that rule.

This confusing situation involves disputes about Texas law, the effectiveness of mask mandates, the propriety of requiring vaccines that have been only provisionally approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the conflict between Abbott's preferences and federal guidelines, and the meaning of "freedom." Let's take those one at a time.

An executive order that Abbott issued on July 29 says "no governmental entity, including a county, city, school district, and public health authority, and no governmental official may require any person to wear a face covering or to mandate that another person wear a face covering." Abbott and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, both Republicans, argue that the governor's ban on mask mandates is authorized by the Texas Disaster Act of 1975.

"During a state of disaster and the following recovery period," that law says, "the governor is the commander in chief of state agencies, boards, and commissions having emergency responsibilities." Among other things, "the governor may control ingress and egress to and from a disaster area and the movement of persons and the occupancy of premises in the area." The statute also says "the governor may suspend the provisions of any regulatory statute prescribing the procedures for conduct of state business or the orders or rules of a state agency if strict compliance with the provisions, orders, or rules would in any way prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with a disaster."

The local officials who object to Abbott's order say it exceeds his authority under the Texas Disaster Act. San Antonio and Bexar County argue that "the Governor's power to suspend laws during a disaster under the statute does not extend to the public health laws that allow the City and County to impose masking requirements on its own employees and members of the public who visit City and County-owned facilities." They say the law "gives the governor authority to suspend statutes and regulations governing state officials and agencies, but not the statutes giving local governments the authority to manage public health within their own jurisdictions."

The Texas Supreme Court seems inclined to side with Abbott in this dispute about statutory interpretation. But because its order names Dallas County rather than the Dallas Independent School District, school officials maintain that it does not affect their mask mandate. "Until there's an official order of the court that applies to the Dallas Independent School District, we will continue to have the mask mandate," Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said yesterday. "After a court rules, then I will comply, if it's not in my favor."

The latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend "indoor masking for all individuals age 2 years and older," regardless of their vaccination status, in schools and child care facilities. But the evidence that "universal masking" in K–12 schools has played an important role in controlling COVID-19, even when vaccines were not available, is equivocal at best. Now that more than 70 percent of American adults have been at least partly vaccinated and vaccines are available to students 12 or older, it seems even less likely that the public health payoff from such mandates justifies the burdens they impose, even taking into account the prevalence of the especially contagious delta variant. It is therefore hard to argue with Abbott's order on that score, assuming it is within his statutory power.

By contrast, there is ample evidence that vaccines sharply reduce the risk of infection and are even more effective at preventing life-threatening symptoms. Furthermore, schools have a long history of requiring that students be vaccinated against other diseases. Abbott's order nevertheless says "state agencies and political subdivisions shall not adopt or enforce any order, ordinance, policy, regulation. rule, or similar measure that requires an individual to provide, as a condition of receiving any service or entering any place, documentation regarding the individual's vaccination status for any COVID-19 vaccine administered under an emergency use authorization." That prohibition also applies to "any public or private entity that is receiving or will receive public funds through any means, including grants, contracts, loans, or other disbursements of taxpayer money."

That language suggests public K–12 schools and state universities could, consistent with Abbott's order, require proof of vaccination after the FDA fully approves COVID-19 vaccines, which could happen next month. The order also seems to leave some leeway for private businesses untainted by "public funds" to require vaccine verification.

But a state law that Abbott signed on June 16 goes further, saying "a business in this state may not require a customer to provide any documentation certifying the customer's COVID-19 vaccination or post-transmission recovery on entry to, to gain access to, or to receive service from the business." It says any business that violates this provision is ineligible for state contracts, and it allows state agencies to "require compliance with that subsection as a condition for a license, permit, or other state authorization necessary for conducting business in this state."

So how is it that cruise lines operating in Texas are still requiring documented vaccination as a condition for boarding their ships? The law says it does not "restrict a business from implementing COVID-19 screening and infection control protocols in accordance with state and federal law to protect public health." The cruise lines argue that CDC guidelines qualify as such a "federal law." That argument seems debatable, since a federal judge in June blocked enforcement of the CDC's rules for cruise ships after concluding that they probably exceeded its statutory authority.

Then again, another federal judge this month ruled in favor of a cruise line challenging a similar Florida law, saying it likely violated the First Amendment by imposing content-based restrictions on speech and the Dormant Commerce Clause by imposing unjustified burdens on interstate and international commerce. Constitutional issues aside, Abbott, like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, is contradicting his own avowed commitment to deregulation and economic freedom by supporting a law that tells private businesses they may not adopt the COVID-19 precautions they deem appropriate.

"Texas is open 100 percent, and we want to make sure that you have the freedom to go where you want without limits," Abbott declared after signing the law banning proof-of-vaccination requirements. That position sacrifices private property rights and freedom of association in the name of an unlimited "freedom" that has never been legally recognized: the freedom of any given customer to dictate the terms on which businesses offer products or services.

When you weigh public health benefits against restrictions on individual freedom, George Mason law professor Ilya Somin argues, even government-imposed vaccine requirements are preferable to mask mandates. "You get the jab, but then you can move on with your life at worst in a day or two," he said during a MSNBC interview earlier this month. "And on the other hand, there's a big payoff in terms of saving lives, whereas there are other kinds of restrictions on liberty which are much more severe and are very different."

Mask mandates, Somin said, "are very different from vaccine mandates because they're a much more severe imposition on liberty, in that it's not just a jab and then you go on with your life. It's potentially anytime you go inside in an indoor public space, you get this pretty severe restriction, which is very painful and annoying for many people, particularly those who wear glasses, or have sensitive face[s], or other conditions. It also significantly inhibits normal human communication, which both studies and common sense show often comes through facial expressions."

Somin added that "the evidence that mask mandates actually slow the spread of COVID is much, much weaker than…in the case of vaccines. There's much more division among experts over that. So what we have there is a much more severe imposition on liberty for a much smaller payoff than with vaccines."

I'm not sure I agree with Somin's description of mandatory vaccination as "a small infringement on freedom." But assuming that school vaccine mandates are justified with respect to other communicable diseases, it is hard to see why COVID-19 should be treated differently—leaving aside the lack of full FDA approval, which is expected to be remedied soon. One counterargument is that COVID-19, which rarely causes life-threatening symptoms in children and teenagers, poses a less serious danger to them than other diseases for which vaccination is required.* Still, requiring teachers and students to be vaccinated certainly seems like a more cost-effective policy than requiring them to wear masks all day.

In any case, it hardly makes sense to say that private businesses should be free to require face masks, on the theory that customers who don't like that rule can go elsewhere, while prohibiting them from requiring proof of vaccination, which likewise is not tantamount to a legal requirement.

[*This post has been revised to note that COVID-19 poses a less serious threat to minors than other diseases for which schools require vaccination.]

NEXT: Some Ohio Judges Are Mandating Vaccinations as a Condition of Probation. That's an Abuse of Power.

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  1. That position sacrifices private property rights and freedom of association in the name of an unlimited “freedom” that has never been legally recognized: the freedom of any given customer to dictate the terms on which businesses offer products or services.

    Fuck off, Sullum, you disingenuous cunt.

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    1. I think that freedom has been legally recognized in a few circumstances, such as wedding planning.

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    2. Shut up you fascist demon.

      Whatever Mormons say goes according to Mormons.

      That’s why we need to exterminate you cockroaches.

      1. Was your mom the plaything of a Mormon commune or something?

          1. You’re boring Mac and Cheese

            1. You’re stupid, sarcasmic.

        1. No. She hated them too.

  2. What other medial or personal information do you think business should be privy too Sullum?

  3. They can require a blood sample and a nude photo for all I care; I’m not going in.

  4. Let’s set aside the sheer amount of righteous indignation that Reason seems to be able to muster for governments possibly banning vaccine passport requirements compared to their blasé-to-supportive attitude towards governments requiring vaccine passports in a ‘papers, please’ manner. The whole “muh private company” argument falls apart when the “private company” vaccine credentials system is government-funded, government-sponsored, and government-“encouraged” at the federal level at least.

    1. I am not crazy about the government dictating terms between private citizens and businesses, but of *all* the places to take a stand, this seems like click bait nonsense.

      The government has intervened in about a billion places between the customer and the business. It is transparently obvious that the only reason Sullum is so animated about this specific issue is that he really wants those rubes to vaccinate- that’ll teach them! It’s such a lazy, easy article to write because he is taking a BOLD STAND that 50% of the pundits support.

      But where is Sullum on the EU’s GDPR requirements that restrain the type of information online companies are allowed to hold? How about California’s similar rules? HIPPA? How about non discrimination rules?

      Let’s be clear here: if you think that if Abbot flips here (or is overruled), the impact on our personal liberty will be minor (as will the impact if he maintains his stance).

  5. Maybe all of the inbred hicks that live in Texas should just get fucking vaccinated already.

    1. So the inbred hicks have a good enough immune system to survive illness, but your immune system needs everyone else around you to keep you alive, because it’s impotent against mild viruses…

    2. Why would you care what “inbred hicks” in another state do?

      1. And why would one assume they are representative of the unvaccinated population?

    3. Never been to Texas I see.

    4. Have you shown the commissar your papers today, citizen?

    5. Apparently black people have a lot in common with rednecks.

      1. And Ph.Ds too.

    6. Perhaps I am taking a principled stand that it’s none of your beeswax if I am vaccinated or not. By your logic, you should have your own vaccine. At that point, you shouldn’t care about my status, as you are covered.

      The only people that I will show vaccination proof to are medical personnel, as they have vulnerable people in their care.

      Anyone else will be politely told to pound sand, and any business who attempts to verify my status will lose my patronage.

      1. And if you question my “hick”ness, I would refer you to my username.

    7. Maybe you should get a job, get off welfare, and stop fucking your underage daughter, sarcasmic.

  6. Shhhh. It’s time to stop talking now.

    1. Too late for Jacob the Liar. He should have stopped talking about 12 months ago.

  7. Do we really not see the difference between being ‘required’ to wear a mask and being ‘required’ to take a vaccination?

    At the very least, one can take off the mask. One cannot just pull the vaccine back out of their blood.

    Then again, wasn’t Texas one of the first states to require HPV vaccinations for school children? Guess this isn’t so unusual after all. In fact there’s a whole host of vaccinations that are required for kids going into public school.

    And yet, even with people being ‘required’ to get those vaccinations no one has ever asked me for proof that I received them as a requirement to work, trade, or travel. Well, with the one exception of working at a hospital anyway…but not everyone works in a hospital it turns out.

    1. Actually I am associated with two institutions that require proof of vaccination entered into their database. If there is no such proof the required testing is 2 or 3 times per week. Even vaccinated person are required to be tested once a week to be on site

    2. Then again, wasn’t Texas one of the first states to require HPV vaccinations for school children? Guess this isn’t so unusual after all.

      They weren’t one of the first, but it was controversial there because the religious right thought that giving it to children would encourage them to be sexually promiscuous without fear of consequences.

      The HPV vaccine certainly shouldn’t be required for school attendance since the manner in which HPV spreads is unlike communicable infections such as measles, mumps, or chickenpox. But in its defense, at least the HPV vaccine went through the normal process of testing and approval and wasn’t made mandatory on an emergency use authorization.

  8. I really can’t see how see no difference between masks and vaccines.

    I hate the stupid masks, but they are easily removable and I can put it on for a brief moment of time if I absolutely must have access to some product a business is offering. My mask wearing is only limited to the brief moments where I interact with those businesses.

    A vaccine is so totally beyond that and dictates a physical state that I must permanently be under whether I interact with that business or not. I cannot put on my vaccinated body to go to the grocer and take it off as soon as I return home. Those businesses may have a right to request my compliance in a farcical dress-code ritual, but they do not get to dictate how I live my life outside of their business.

    1. “My mask wearing is only limited to the brief moments where I interact with those businesses.”
      Bad news buba; that violates the CDC guidelines.

      1. The CDC is a farce.

      2. who gives a rip about CDC and their tyranny. They canholler all they want about masks. I still won’t wear them. They are worse than useless. They bring their own nasty side effects and dangers. Particularly when one observes, as I am in the habit of doing, how people wear and handle them. Or, how bout the two schoolboys who, upon seeing teach others’ COOL mask, decided they should swap them. Great idea…….
        masks have become a sick fetish. And fewer than one half of one percent accross the nation actually FIT and WEAR them per established rmedical protocols.

  9. People like Sullum should be hung from lampposts.

  10. a. put this on you
    b. put this in you

    der.

  11. If Texas schools “require” the Covid-19 vaccine or masks to the same level they require the other vaccines I would be fine with it because Texas schools have an opt of for personal or moral reasons clause for current vaccine requirements.

    Personally I think any business does have the right to require or not require it of its customers but question the legitimacy of a business being allowed to require it for employees since it is medical information and other medical information requirements are against the law. If we want to change the laws that employers have the right to ask for whatever medical information we want before hiring then I like that idea. It’s the stupidity that I can’t ask you if you have herpes, but can require that you’ve been vaccinated.
    No government function or access to government building should require it.

    1. The government will require whatever it wants for use of its facilities.

      1. Make sure to salute as you pass the Habsburg’s hat you bootlicking piece of shit.

        I guess government is just the name we give to the children we forcibly inject with untested chemicals together.

    2. NO BUSINESS OWNER or personnel have any place dictating to ME what level of medical care I must have.

      The “logic” of this insanity is amusing……. before the poke was released under sketchy “authorisation” proceedures, the mask was all there was. And it did not do what they said it should, yet untold millions dutifully wore them Then took them back off, and returned to statos quo ante.

      But the shot? Oh my. READ what that thing is, and what it does, and what it IS doing to thousands accross the nation.. AND how many are getting the stupid virus EVEN WHEN THEY”VE HAD THE INJECTION!!!

      IF the shot works, no one would need the mask any more. IF the makss worked, then let folks slap them accross their mugs if they feel “vulnerable”.
      The fact both are required in many places is proof neihter works as advertised.

  12. I am in no sense anti-vaccine, but the characterization that Sullum attributes to Somin of it as “just a jab” seems overly flippant. Requiring someone to take medicine that potentially could have deleterious effects on one’s health is much more of an imposition than the mere action of getting the shots.

    I have gotten vaxxed myself, but I would have considered it an assault to be ordered to do it.

  13. It’s pointless anyway, the variants are working around the “vaccines”, and will continue to do so.

    1. By coding just for the spike, the vaccines are helping to drive variant escape for those who are only vaccinated. Naturally immune folks like me will have a much better time with the evolution of the virus.

  14. Because one is a temporary inconvenience that makes some shoppers feel more secure, while the other is intruding on a person’s private medical history?

    1. Because, for some people, both can kill you?
      The mandates never make allowance for individual medical history. or for the growing army of survivors.
      Just out of curiosity, I took a single layer of cheesecloth and held it over my nose and mouth while wearing a pulse oximeter. The O2 level started at 97%, and within 10 minutes was dropping past 90%.
      Not something I am going to do all day every day.

      1. “or for the growing army of survivors.”
        That is certainly a serious flaw in the CDC’s “recommendations that does serious harm to its credibility

      2. Sorry longtobefree, what you are describing just isn’t possible. A single layer of cheesecloth makes your oxygen sat drop to 90%? How did you convince yourself of that?

        I am a doctor. Our institution regularly carries out complex surgeries that last. 8, 12, even 16 hours. The surgeons these days are wearing n95s underneath and ordinary surgical masks over those. I would notice if they were passing out or lightheaded.

        How do skiers wear face coverings at 10000 feet altitude without passing out if one layer of CHEESECLOTH is so harmful?

  15. Also on Reason today:

    “ Some Ohio Judges Are Mandating Vaccinations as a Condition of Probation. That’s an Abuse of Power.”

    Irony.

    1. Judging from the COVID prison stats, vaccinations should be mandated if you want to stay in prison.

    2. It’s abuse of power when government does it. If Walmart won’t let them in after for violating parole this way, then we shrug our shoulders and move on.

  16. I see Sullum continues his full-throated support of totalitarian measures against anyone who doesn’t share his sensibilities. If you’re deathly afraid of COVID then get the vaccine already, but leave me and my personal risk assessment the fuck alone. Jacob really needs to start doing his schtick over at Jacobin for a more like-minded audience.

    1. Jacobin LOVES one size fits all non-solutions to problems.

  17. That position sacrifices private property rights and freedom of association in the name of an unlimited “freedom” that has never been legally recognized: the freedom of any given customer to dictate the terms on which businesses offer products or services.

    What do you mean ‘never legally recognized? This is the entire justification for the public accommodations part of the CRA.

    If you’ve got a public accommodation, you are open to ALL the public. Black, white, gay, and unvaccinated.

    1. No shirt, no shoes, no service.

      1. No shirt, no shoes, no service.

        Exactly.

        Not allowed to say ‘NO AIDS’ though.

      2. No shirt, no shoes no service – no coercion to reveal information covered under the Common Law as codified by HIPPA. Next time try apples to apples – not apples to rocks.

  18. Because one requires a small piece of cloth or paper over your mouth, while the other is a medical procedure

  19. Business is not open ended permission to trample on the rights of others. Libertarians need to learn that.

  20. Because of the first amendment for freedom of religion.

    Also it’s all my body my choice, but only with killing babies.

    Dems are not pro-choice, they are just pro-abortion

  21. Why should a business be allowed to require masks, but not proof of vaccine status?

    Is this an actual question? I’m in Alberta. Even when masks were mandated, I didn’t wear one. The greeter at the store would ask if I have or need a mask. I’d say I can’t wear one. That was the end of the conversation. None of the staff (other than the occasional newb) ever pestered me beyond that initial question.

    Why? Because some people (like myself) have medical reasons why we can’t tolerate masks. And nobody–not the clerk at the local liquor store, not the cops, not the receptionist at the doctor’s office–has any right to know WHY I can’t wear a mask. That’s my private medical information.

    And so is my vaccine status.

    You know what else is grounded entirely on medical privacy? Roe v Wade. I’d think twice before fucking with a legal concept that is not specifically addressed in the constitution but forms the entire basis of a woman’s right to choose in the US.

    1. Abortion rights in the US are not grounded in the right to privacy. They are grounded in the intellectual class’ desire for unlimited abortion. Privacy rights are just the rationale, they do not apply that way for any other medical choice.

  22. I would think that this is a medical privacy issue, no business should demand to see my medical information before they serve me. But if they do, I will go somewhere else. And I have had the jab, but that is none of their damn business.

  23. I’m so old I remember when reason wasn’t fascist.

  24. There is absolutely no historical precedent for businesses requiring customers to be vaccinated.

    Why this vaccine? What is so special about it?

    1. Because if you take it they won’t put you on a terror watchlist?

    2. Businesses, I get. Schools are another matter entirely, as there IS precedent for vaccination requirements. If Abbott forbids vaccination requirements for schools, he’s opening a legal can of worms. If they can’t legally require COVID-19 immunization, does that mean measles/mumps/whooping cough/etc. immunization requirements are null and void as well? Do we REALLY want schools to become disease cesspools again?

  25. I’m still waiting for free unlimited Soma to make me feel better about all this.

    1. At this point I’d settle for victory gin.

      1. Gin I can do. Temporary fix unfortunately.

        1. Too right.

  26. “If Texas Businesses Are Free To Require Face Masks, Why Can’t They Require Proof of Vaccination?”

    Because requiring face masks is just an extension of “No shoes, no shirt, no service” but requiring vaccination is “put something in your body you don’t want or no service”

    (Although I think folks should get vaccinated)

    1. The counter to that is that not wearing a shirt does not cause potential increased risk to others. The other is financial. The cruise ships have been sitting idle losing money. Nobody wants to go on a cruise and wear a mask all the time. They can fill up the ship with a vaccine only cruise and make money again.

      If Bob’s nightclub can do the same thing what right does the government have to prevent it? It is not like anyone has an inherent right to go drink and party there.

      1. The counter to that is that not wearing a shirt does not cause potential increased risk to others.

        Neither does not wearing a paper mask about your face or comingling with vaccinated people. Unless, of course, the vaccine is ineffective. Which you’ve been assuring us for months is not the case.

      2. and the cruise ships can have no mask cruises, too, then see how many will come. WHO wants to sit about on a floating casino for a week wiht a mug nappie plastered accross your pie-hole? Nobody I know. Remember early on when cruise lines proposed different “category” cruises, where one ship would be all masks all the time, another would be ootional or none? Let the individuals boarding assess their risk and modify their behaviouraccordingly.. or not.

  27. Easy! Your Health Care is personal information. Anyone ever hear of HIPAA laws . Hell! what is wrong with Reason? Don’t you people think people are allowed to have private information? This frigging “rag” has been taken over by Leftists.

    1. HIPPA does not apply. It only prohibits health care providers from releasing your medical information without consent. It does not stop someone from requesting it from you nor you from releasing it.

      1. Hey doctor (or is it professor now? I lose track so easily of all the professions you pretend to be employed in), it’s HIPAA. H-I-P-A-A. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. And it “applies” in the same way that it does to every other entity that requests access to your health records: they need to get the permission of the patient first. So if a store wanted evidence of your vaccine status and called up your physician’s office to obtain those records they would be told to get stuffed without you having signed a waiver form to allow the store access to your medical records. Up until this year that was, for all intents and purposes, the only way for someone to access your medical records since we have never before in all of human history required a person to keep copies of their medical records on the person to be produced at the whim and demand of government or private actors. Because that’s unethical, tyrannical and fascist.

        1. right.. the law is SO strict I have even been compelled to sign the HIPPA release of information form so MY OWN doctor can send ME the information on the labwork I just REQUESTED.
          That was last year. How is it that the Wuhan Flu has trashed so many laws, protocls, regulatipoins, restrictions?
          It ain’t about the silly Vie Russ. Its all about control, domination, everybody fall in line hep hep hep. NOW.

      2. No silly. HIPPA is exactly like the attorney-client privilege. Information covered can only be released with the consent of the client (patient). You most certainly can ask, but you cannot coerce a client or a patient to reveal privileged information.

  28. At least the 20 year war in Afghanistan was cheaper than one year of the war on COVID.

    1. So many pundits and ordinary folks complain about 20 years. We have had many troops in Kprea for 70 years and even more in Germany since WWII.
      Keeping a force of a few thousand plus civilian support would have prevented this debacle of Very Old White Joe.

      1. Don supports endless occupations and forced govt vax like a good little statist.

      2. Tripwire forces are a bad idea. You are simply putting your forces in a vulnerable position.

        In Korea the US forces are a supplement to the S Korean forces who are extremely capable and well equipped. They have one of the largest military budgets in the world. They have a strong stable central government. The Afghan army was a joke as we can see.

        I am not sure we need to be in Korea at all. The reasons for the bases in Germany and elsewhere in Europe are entirely different and probably no longer needed.

  29. Abbott is such a fucking idiot. Whites are their own worst enemy.

  30. I actually made an account to respond to this unbelievably moronic article that just goes to show how useless Reason Libertarians are. The title of this article could just as easily be “If businesses are free to require shirts why can’t they require customers to get a tattoo”. This is how profoundly stupid the author sounds. At this point I come to Reason to see how close I was at guessing the center-left, one square down into libertarian on the political compass takes that would be coming out on current events. I’m disappointed at how wrong I am every time because I can’t even conceive of the things so detached from reality, so milquetoast and oftentimes counter to making any progress in the liberty movement, that the Reason writers are able to come up with every day.

  31. If Texas businesses are free to require face masks, why can’t they require proof of vaccination, is a silly question; you’re comparing Apples to Oranges; they are both ‘fruits’, and that is where the similarity ends.

  32. This is satire, isn’t it? Please tell me this is satire.

  33. I have a crazy idea: how about we let people run their businesses however they want, and let people choose which business they patronize? How about we leave people alone and let them live their lives how they choose instead of constantly handing down government mandates about every single aspect of day-to-day life?

  34. 1: Because, you pathetic moron, a mask is not a private health care decision. Getting something shot inside your body IS a private health care decision

    2: That position sacrifices private property rights and freedom of association in the name of an unlimited “freedom” that has never been legally recognized: the freedom of any given customer to dictate the terms on which businesses offer products or services.

    So, I’m glad to hear that you always side with the Christian who doesn’t want anything to do with same sex “marriages”. And that you’re loud and vociferous attacking “Civil Rights Commissions” that try to punish businesses taht dont’w ant to cater, provide flowers, or photography, or DJ for such events, and don’t want to host them either.

    Eight?

    You’ve got a large body of articles on that, right? Including on the recent CO / Circuit Court decision saying you can’t do websites for weddings unless you’re ready to do them for same sex ones?

    Because you’re not a sleazy left wing hypocrite, right?

  35. Sullum: “But assuming that school vaccine mandates are justified with respect to other communicable diseases, it is hard to see why COVID-19 should be treated differently—leaving aside the lack of full FDA approval, which is expected to be remedied soon.”

    Except that ALL state laws that require vaccinations for children to attend school include exemptions for medical, religious and/or other reasons.

    Typically, less than 5% of parents seek vaccine exemptions for their children (which allows herd immunity to protect them), although a much higher percentage of parents oppose mandatory herpes virus vaccines for their children in several states, including Texas, where Big Pharma lobbyists got those laws enacted during the past decade.

    Forty years ago when I was a student at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health, a professor of mine (i.e. former PA Secretary of Health Gordon MacLoad) discussed how he met with and convinced Amish religious leaders in Lancaster County to encourage Amish parents to vaccinate their children (after a measles outbreak).

    That’s how public health officials and agencies should act, as mandating vaccines for everyone (including those whose doctors warn against doing so for medial reasons) just increases distrust in government (and the vaccines).

  36. So bake the cake then?

    It is not my bar. Either libertarians are in favor of property rights and freedom of association or they are not. If we are we realize that things are not always going to work out the way we like them.

    The government here is stripping business owners of that basic right. There is no getting around it. A government mandate is wrong but that is not what we are talking about here.

  37. Sullum, you should consider making porn where you masturbate with a cheese grater. That’s about all you’re good for anymore.

  38. Hurrrrrr if businesses are free to make you wear a shirt and shoes on their premises then whycome they can’t make you provide a clear AIDS test? Checkmate, Republicans!

    It’s almost like a fabric mask, as stupid and pointless as it is, is not the same thing as demanding confidential medical information.

  39. “If Texas Businesses Are Free To Require Face Masks, Why Can’t They Require Proof of Vaccination?”

    Let me try to take a stab at this, Sullum, so just bear with me for a sec. If you don’t have a mask and need to access the business you can rectify this with a quick trip back to the car, spending maybe a few dollars on a mask if one is not available for free, or by wrapping a piece of clothing around your face like a pretend cowboy.

    If you need to prove to be fully vaccinated to access the business rectification takes 6+ weeks (First shot, second shot, two weeks to fully develop protection).

    One of these seems mildly more burdensome than the other.

  40. Sullum your brain has been polluted by a twisted view of “libertariainism”.

    I can slao a mug nappie accross my piehole, or not, to walk in to a business. I can let the stupid thing slide up on my beard a bit, tilt my head down, and breathe through my mouth directly instead of through that hypoxia-inducing chunk of plastic fibres that are also laden with Grephene spicules, which are as deadly as coal dust when inhaled. The instant I am past the checkout the thing automatically flies off my face, restoring me to status quo ante the business owner’s peranoia transference. I go on about my life as if nothing much has happened.. beyond the invasion of my privacy and the minimal added health risks imposed upon me.

    On the other hand, you maintain that my going to a clinic, baring my left arm, letting them squirt some unproven, unapproved, risk-laden solution into my body which PERMANENTLY reprogrammes my body’s DNA for the rest of my life is the equal of the mug nappie in level of invasivity? LOOK INTO how that shot works, the changes it PERMANENTLY brings to the natural function of your body and for which there is NO reversal, antidote, cure, backtracking. Now add in that these things have ONLY been installed in humans for the past six or seven months.. and NO ONE knows the long term side effects of having your body continually produce the immune-response producing alien spike protein, which anyone;s body will recognise as a threat, and take action to quell or destroy it….. but they keep on coming because YOUR BODY is now permanently programmed to prodiuce these alien particles as long as you live. There is no “buyer’s remorse”, no backtracking, no reversal, no Red Button to Do Over.

    Engage your brain, Jacob. LOOK into what this abomination actually IS and DOES. NOW come stand in front of me and tell my WHY I should let someone perform this permanent alteration to my body’s embedded operating instructions…….

    I can easily do without that business owner’s goods/services for a season, If HE has the poke, odds are quite high that long after he’s dead of the side effects of this thing he demands I get, I’ll stil be healthy and functional. With or without his “coveted scarce goody” the obtaining of which he sets as a precondition that I risk my life and heealth for the “priviledge” or scuffing up the floor in his prescious venue.

    Not gonna happen, Jake. Not now, not ever.

  41. This site and libertarians in general have jumped the shark tank long long ago. So now they believe my wearing a mask is the equivalent of my being forced to reveal my medical history and reveal whether or not I am vaccinated. You’d think libertarians would take out the pitch forks if someone forced or coerced them to take an experimental drug, for which the maker has complete immunity against all damages caused by the drug and reporting deaths and side effects from the drug is only being done on a voluntary basis.

  42. But do they still have to bake the cake?

  43. Putting on a mask reversibleable action. Getting a vaccine injection is not.

  44. If a restaurant can require you to wear a jacket and tie, why can’t it pry into your medical records?

    Modern “libertarianism”.

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