The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is in need of some serious soul-searching.
LAUSD heartlessly terminated nearly 500 school teachers — simultaneously ‘displacing’ hundreds more district employees — for declining the COVID vaccines. Then, as if violating its employees’ constitutionally-protected religious beliefs and individual medical needs was not injury enough, LAUSD audaciously sought to recover more than $200,000 in attorneys’ fees from the fired employees and other plaintiffs.
In its motion to the United States District Court requesting legal fees, LAUSD had the gall to claim the lawsuit defending the employees’ constitutional rights is “frivolous.” On April 3, 2023, the court issued its one-sentence ruling: “For reasons stated by Plaintiff, the Motion is Denied.”
Health Freedom Defense Fund (HFDF), California Educators for Medical Freedom (CAEMF), and several individual plaintiffs sued LAUSD when it mandated the COVID vaccines for all employees on August 13, 2021.
In the complaint the plaintiffs argued that COVID injections are therapeutics, not vaccines, as they do not prevent infection or transmission. This is not an empty assertion as on July 27, 2021, CDC revised guidance stating that COVID injections do not stop transmission or infection of the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2.
This point is critical as the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruled in Cruzan vs. Director in 1990 that medical treatments may be refused even if they might save a recipient’s life.
However, this ruling has never been reconciled with a 1905 decision by the SCOTUS in Jacobson vs. Massachusetts, in which the court decided that vaccines could be mandated in clearly defined and limited situations, such as a deadly smallpox outbreak. But COVID is not smallpox. What’s more, Jacobson allowed those who declined the vaccine to pay a fine — Jacobson did not allow the state to force a vaccine on unwilling recipients on pain of losing their livelihoods.
Worth noting is that Jacobson was decided in 1905, in a very different world than we live in today. In 1905, women were prohibited from voting and Jim Crow laws existed. In the decades since, our appreciation for basic human rights has advanced as reflected in the Nuremberg Code and the UNESCO Declaration on Human Rights and Bioethics acknowledging the ethical principle of voluntary informed consent.
Unfortunately, the U.S. District Court granted LAUSD’s motion for judgment on the pleadings, stating that “Without further guidance from the Ninth Circuit, the Court declines to adopt case law applying strict scrutiny in cases of forced medical treatment to the COVID-19 vaccine context.”
In other words, the judge said she could not rule in our favor without getting the green light from a superior court so HFDF et al. have appealed to the 9th Circuit and are very optimistic about the prospects.
Unfortunately, LAUSD has a track record of unethical behavior. In early 2021, it mandated the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) COVID vaccine for all employees despite federal law clearly stipulating that EUA products be voluntary.
Health Freedom Defense Fund (HFDF) helped CAEMF and several individuals to file their first lawsuit against LAUSD on March 17, 2021, challenging the mandate. The following day, LAUSD rescinded the mandate.
In July 2021, as the case was working its way through the system, LAUSD represented to our attorney and in a brief filed with the court, that there “is no mandate” and that LAUSD had no intention of issuing a mandate. The court accepted this representation in dismissing the case as not “ripe” on July 27, 2021. (Ripeness is a legal term requiring that a harm has already occurred before a lawsuit may be adjudicated.) Thus, if there is no mandate, the lawsuit is not ripe.
But LAUSD turned around only 17 days later and issued a COVID vaccine mandate on August 13, 2021.
So HFDF, CAEMF, and individual plaintiffs filed suit — again — challenging LAUSD’s vaccine mandate. We discovered that LAUSD had not been forthright with the District Court during the first case when it claimed there “is no mandate.”
According to depositions taken during the course of the second case, LAUSD Chief Human Resource Officer Ileana Davalos stated that “they were drafting a mandate in the first half of July 2021,” demonstrating that LAUSD had not been telling the truth about the mandates with the court in the first case.
LAUSD is a repeat offender having violated its employees’ constitutional rights, mandating an EUA product, claiming that a lawsuit protecting its employees’ protected rights is frivolous, lying to plaintiffs’ counsel, and lying to the court.
Thankfully the court saw through LAUSD’s latest attempt to bully HFDF, CAEMF, and its employees by denying its hollow attempt to obtain attorneys’ fees from the plaintiffs.
Hopefully, the court will also recognize LAUSD’s cynical pattern of behavior.
Leslie Manookian is the President and Founder of Health Freedom Defense Fund.
See original article published by The Daily Wire here. The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.