Update: We have had so many people coming from inside and outside this group filling out the intake form tonight, that after having an urgent call with Blacktail and Gallus firms, we have decided we have to give more Montana federal employees the chance to sign up before we request the TRO. The purpose of having a larger list of plaintiffs is to hedge against the judge not certifying the whole of MT Feds as a class and to demonstrate the significant number of people in imminent harm. Please use this opportunity to reach out to all your coworkers and federal employee contacts. Give them the link: https://restore-liberty.org/montana-federal-employees-vaccine-mandate-intake-form/
Since Thursday is Veteran’s Day, we want to push back the request for TRO until Friday. The attorneys also have been tracking some new information coming from cases all over the country and want to analyze recent court decisions (such as the recent United Airlines decision) in order to present the best argument possible. Additionally, they have additional collaboration with the Attorney General’s Office planned that could prove useful before the TRO request.
I know this can be disappointing or disconcerting to have a hurry-up-and-wait happen. I feel the same way, but believe this is for the best. Friday is not a long ways away, and it may just help out a lot more people to wait the extra 2 days. I’ll do my best to keep everyone updated. Thanks for your support in this fight and your patience!
Tomorrow, the attorneys and some of the plaintiffs will be presenting the request for a Temporary Restraining Order at the County Courthouse in Kalispell. In that request, we will be asking the judge to certify a class to include all Montana residents that are federal employees and are adversely affected by the vaccine mandate (EO 14043). If the judge certifies the class, everyone in that class will be covered by any relief the judge provides in the form of a temporary restraining order or injunction. If the judge chooses to deny the class and limits the relief to the named plaintiffs, we want to make sure everyone has a chance to be on that list, if so desired.
Therefore, we have published an intake form here: https://restore-liberty.org/montana-federal-employees-vaccine-mandate-intake-form/
It only takes a few minutes to fill out.
We are going to modify the legal scope of the lawsuit from a handful of named plaintiffs to a class action! We want to make a strong statement on States’ rights and help the most people possible. We are so grateful to the new supporters.
There’s now a Facebook page for the lawsuit HERE
We have secured enough to get started, but still need and are asking for donations to ensure we can take this fight all the way.
There was a teleconference with the attorneys, Chris Gallus and Abby Moscatel, this evening. They discussed the general outline of the legal plan as well as answered some questions.
From OPM FAQ:
On September 9, 2021, the President signed Executive Order (EO) 14043, titled, “Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees.” As reflected in Section 1 of the EO, the President has determined that in order to promote the health and safety of the workforce and the efficiency of the civil service, it is necessary to require COVID–19 vaccination for Federal employees, subject to such exceptions as are required by law.
Federal Employees across the country, and specifically Montana, are personally opposed to receiving the required vaccines for a number of reasons, including sincerely held religious beliefs, medical concerns, moral and ethical standards, and opposition to unmitigated control of one’s body and self from an individual in the Executive Office. Additionally, the executive order clearly is not based on available scientific data, as it entirely ignores the superior protection many individuals already have gained through infection and recovery, known as natural immunity.
From OPM FAQ:
Safer Federal Workforce Task Force guidance specifies that agencies should require all of their employees, with exceptions only as required by law, to be fully vaccinated by November 22, 2021. That means employees must complete required vaccination dose(s) by November 8, as they will not become “fully vaccinated” until 2 weeks after their final dose (the second of 2 doses for Pfizer and Moderna, and the first dose for Johnson and Johnson). The only exception is for individuals who receive a legally required exception approved under established agency processes.
Agencies may initiate the enforcement process as soon as November 9, 2021, for employees
who have not received their required vaccination dose by November 8, 2021, unless the
employee has received an exception or the agency is considering an exception request from
Federal Employees are facing termination from careers that most have spent many years faithfully executing, simply due to not accepting a vaccine they feel they do not want or know they do not need.
What are we doing about it?
Attorney Christopher Gallus is organizing a lawsuit in Montana that is primarily based on two specific provisions of Montana law that provide special protection for Montanan citizens.
First: The Montana State Constitution is one of only two state/territory constitutions (other being Puerto Rico) that guarantee individual dignity:
Article 2, Section 4:
Individual dignity. The dignity of the human being is inviolable. No person shall be denied the equal protection of the laws. Neither the state nor any person, firm, corporation, or institution shall discriminate against any person in the exercise of his civil or political rights on account of race, color, sex, culture, social origin or condition, or political or religious ideas.
Discriminating against federal employees based on their belief that the required COVID-19 vaccinations are potentially dangerous, violate their religious beliefs, or are political tools against freedom-minded employees is against the Montana State Constitution. Even though the plaintiffs in this case are federal employees, they are also citizens of Montana, and are under the requirements and the protections of the state.
Second: MT HB702 was passed in 2021 and provides that it is a violation of the law for any employer to discriminate, bar, or refuse employment based on vaccination status. This law has criminal penalties associated with its violation.
Section 1. Discrimination based on vaccination status or possession of immunity passport
prohibited — definitions. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2), it is an unlawful discriminatory practice for: … an employer to refuse employment to a person, to bar a person from employment, or to
discriminate against a person in compensation or in a term, condition, or privilege of employment based on the
person’s vaccination status or whether the person has an immunity passport;
Additional legal analysis is linked in the resources section of this page.
Who can join the lawsuit?
Any federal employee that is a citizen of Montana and is likely to be adversely affected by the new vaccine mandates may join the lawsuit. We are looking to have plaintiffs from various areas of the state with specific and compelling stories of how the mandates will adversely affect them. We ask that anyone signing up to be a plaintiff be willing to put forward some money to pay for the initial phases of the case.
Not every federal employee needs to be a plaintiff, though, to benefit from the lawsuit. If we triumph in court, it is in order to save the careers of every federal employee in Montana that is in the same situation. We hope it will also positively affect federal employees outside of Montana as well.
Can you support the cause without being a plaintiff?
Yes! Unfortunately, lawsuits of any sort cost money. When fighting the federal government or their employees, the legal action is even more costly. Estimates for the total cost of the fight are between $80,000 and $100,000. The plaintiffs have no way of paying for this themselves. We humbly ask that anyone that wishes to see these vaccine mandates stopped donate something. If every federal employee in Montana donated $20 toward the cause, we would have more than enough. Estimates show that only only about 20-40% of employees are opposed to the vaccine mandate, and we won’t be able to reach all of them. Please consider putting a few hundred dollars toward this cause. We believe we can win if we have the resources for the fight!
(Also, it is common practice that a judge will award successful plaintiffs with reimbursement from the defendant of legal fees. If that happens, all contributors will be reimbursed a prorated amount based on their portion of total funds collected minus any expenses not reimbursed.)
We are consulting with the Montana Solicitor General’s Office (who is also preparing legal action), as well as numerous national level lawsuits to avoid duplication of work and to assist each other in the greater effort. Those who are part of a national lawsuit are not excluded from being a part of this lawsuit that is based on Montana law.
We have identified national lawsuits that are aiming to file for an injunction before mid October.