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Mayor Glenn Jacobs tells Biden the vaccine mandate is illegal, says Knox County won't comply

Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Politicon

Glenn Jacobs, the libertarian mayor of Knox County, Tennessee, has informed President Joe Biden that he will not enforce the new federal vaccine mandate, accusing Biden of overstepping his constitutional authority with his "egregious executive overreach."

Jacobs, aka Kane, a former WWE wrestler, wrote a letter to the president on Friday regarding the president's executive order mandating that all businesses with 100 or more employees require vaccination against COVID-19 or weekly COVID testing for employees, else they will face fines.

"Knox County will not comply with your mandate," Jacobs wrote to Biden.

"As the chief executive of an organization that employs 2,700 individuals, your action adds financial, legal, and regulatory burdens that will ultimately impact Knox County taxpayers. In addition, it potentially hinders our ability to attract quality employees since many folks in our community will not work somewhere that unjustly imposes vaccine mandates," Jacobs wrote.

"As a fellow elected official who has sworn an oath the uphold the U.S. Constitution just as you have, I am alarmed by the alacrity with which you issued this order, contradicting both Article I, Section 1 — which vests legislative power in the Congress — and the Tenth Amendment — which recognizes the sovereignty of the states or the people over matters the Constitution does not delegate to the federal government."

Jacobs criticized the Biden administration for "trampling constitutional process" by using the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to promulgate the regulation as an emergency rule instead of asking for an act of Congress.

"Mr. President, if we, as elected officials, ignore, disregard, and contravene the laws which bind us, how can we expect our fellow citizens to respect and follow the laws which bind all of us as a society?"

Jacobs further wrote he was "appalled" by Biden's assertion that "this is not about freedom or personal choice."

"Recently I attended the memorial service for one of our armed forces service members killed in the August 26 suicide bombing attack in Kabul, Afghanistan. We are told that this young patriot, like so many before him, died in defense of our freedoms. But is this statement actually true? Is it an expression of solemn gratitude and a debt that we can never pay? Or is it simply a hollow platitude we recite to rationalize the loss of our best and brightest?" Jacobs asked.

"If it is the latter — if it is not about freedom — then we need to be honest with ourselves: we are not the country — nor the people — we claim to be, and we need to figure out what this nation really stands for. In Knox County, we know what we stand for. We stand for freedom. We stand for the rule of law. We stand for the Constitution. And you can rest assured that we will stand against your blatant and egregious executive overreach."

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