Not much point in suing over Inslee’s vaccine order, says former state Attorney General

Aug 10, 2021, 2:02 PM

Jay Inslee, pause, reopening, vaccine order...

Gov. Jay Inslee. (TVW)


The vaccine order from Gov. Inslee for all state workers stands on pretty firm legal ground, according to former Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna.

Local leaders speak out after Gov. Inslee’s vaccine mandate

McKenna told KIRO Radio’s Tom & Curley Show that there wouldn’t be much point in somebody suing over the legality of the order. And, he explained why Governor Inslee stopped short of ordering the legislative and judicial branches to follow suit:

“I think it acknowledges the separation of powers in our system of government. He doesn’t have control over the judiciary or the legislative branch,” he said. “And he also respected the fact that several agencies of state government are led by other elected officials, like the insurance commissioner or the AG.”

There may, however, be one area where someone who doesn’t want to get a vaccine may be able to sue.

“I think that the best argument that a plaintiff might have is that the vaccines that are out there — that most of us have had now — have all been administered under an Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA,” McKenna said.

However, he also admits that as soon as the vaccines receive a regular authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, that option might not be viable anymore.

UW doctor: Recommendations for COVID booster shots could come soon

McKenna also said he believes that Gov. Inslee timed the vaccination deadline to coincide with the expected FDA approval of the vaccines.

Vaccinations for state employees must be completed by Oct. 18. You can read more information on the new vaccination mandate here.

Listen to the Tom and Curley Show weekday afternoons from 3 – 7 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

John Curley and Shari Elliker on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
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John Curley and Shari Elliker

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Not much point in suing over Inslee’s vaccine order, says former state Attorney General