Jeff Robinson: City Council Has No Authority on Vaccine Mandates

Jeff Robinson. Photo providedJeff Robinson. Photo provided

By Jeff Robinson, President, Muncie City Council—

I’ve been receiving the below email from a number of people throughout Delaware County. Each email I receive is the exact same wording, although the signatures are all different.

I don’t blame these people for not understanding the limits of local government’s authority. Someone has misled these people (either purposefully, or through sheer ignorance) to believe city council has the authority on anything regarding vaccine mandates, which it does not.

That authority rests with the state and a long standing precedent has been set (see Jacobson v. Massachusetts and the Supreme Court Decision on this matter.)

There is no pending ordinance or resolution on the city council agenda to vote on anything pertaining to this topic.

I understand COVID-19 and mitigation efforts have become a hot-button political issue, and people feel very differently on either side of the debate. I’m not here to pour fuel on that fire, or to argue about the merits of any mandates, but I’m incredibly disheartened and disappointed that opportunistic people will use this to irresponsibly and unnecessarily rile people up for their own benefit/ego/political aspirations.

This is a time we should all be doing whatever we can to bring people together, not actively and continuously working to divide each other. Those who are sparking this fuel do so under the banner of “Patriotism”, not remembering the most basic principle of this great nation – “United we Stand – Divided we Fall.”

Our community deserves much, much better.

The email circulating is pictured below.