Attorney to 14 North Charleston first responders speaks out on lawsuit against city’s vaccine mandate

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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – An attorney is speaking out on the lawsuit filed Monday on behalf of 14 City of North Charleston employees alleging that the city’s recently imposed COVID-19 vaccine mandate is unconstitutional.

Tom Winslow, an Attorney at Goldfinch Winslow and counsel of some of the current 14 first responders suing the City of North Charleston for their vaccine mandate says more than 20 individuals called on Tuesday, to add their names onto that lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges that the first responders simply are asking for the right and responsibility to make medical decisions for themselves. Leading the plaintiffs to seek a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to enjoin enforcement of the Mayor’s order.

All of those on the current lawsuit and those wanting to be added, echoing the same notion. 

This is not a mandate about a vaccine, this is a mandate about individual rights. 

Tom Winslow, Attorney at Goldfinch Winslow 

Winslow says the mandate violates the South Carolina and the United States Constitution, along with State Common Law. Even more, he believes that the government should be working to protect the rights of all. 

He says, that a child cannot mandate that a parent do something, but a parent can mandate a child do something and we are not the children of the government; we are the children of God.

The Mayor of North Charleston and a defendant of the lawsuit, Keith Summey released a statement today in response to the lawsuit.

Public safety and health are highest level concerns for the City just as they should be for us all. We appreciate how many of our citizens, employees, and sister governments are putting the well-being of the community first via vaccination. Because we realize that this view may not be universally held, we look forward to using this opportunity to resolve the debate quickly and with finality so that we may all benefit from getting the pandemic behind us sooner.

Mayor Keith Summey, North Charleston

Winslow says he too wants to resolve the issue at hand to keep those who are protecting and serving North Charleston in their jobs. 

While the attorney says there’s nothing wrong with the perspective of the City of North Charleston in wanting to care about people, he says what is wrong is forcing people to do something that is in violation of their own individual rights. 

Winslow says he is encouraging the city to reach out to him to speak on the matter.

A hearing on the issue will be held at the Charleston County Courthouse next Thursday.

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