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Kristi Noem Is Right About Employer Vaccine Mandates

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Robby Soave | 8.25.2021 3:54 PM

As businesses grapple with the tradeoffs of requiring employees and customers to get vaccinated, some Republican officials have decided to take this choice out of their hands. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), for instance, has prohibited both public and private entities from requiring proof of vaccination, creating conflict with several industries—including cruise lines—that would like to mandate vaccines. Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) has done the same in his state.

Two Republican state legislators in South Dakota have proposed a similar ban on private vaccine mandates. The COVID-19 Vaccine Freedom of Conscious Act, authored by Reps. Jon Hansen and Scott Odenbach, would effectively stop all businesses from requiring vaccination. But unlike DeSantis and Gianforte, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) is opposing the ban on private vaccine passports on grounds that the government does not and should not have the right to bully businesses.

"I don't have the authority as governor to tell them what to do," said Noem. "Since the start of this pandemic, I have remained focused on what my authorities are and what they are not. Now South Dakota is in a strong position because I didn't overstep my authority. I didn't trample on the rights of our people, and I'm not going to start now."

The Truth on where I stand… pic.twitter.com/ZB2gkqijlM

— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) August 24, 2021

Noem's stance will probably attract derision from some on the vaccine-skeptical populist right; indeed, Noem has a history of being painted as insufficiently conservative because she was unwilling to use state power to enforce a conservative cultural agenda when she thought it wouldn't hold up in court. But the governor is absolutely right to stick to her guns here—and in fact, it's the Republican officials racing to prohibit private vaccine mandates who are violating clear-cut conservative principles.

Noem explained this quite aptly in a........

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