Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed State Rep. (R-61) Brandon Ogles to the newsmakers line to discuss the parental choice of mask and vaccine mandates in relation to the mature minor doctrine.
Leahy: We are in Nashville, Tennessee and we’re joined in studio by our good friend, the Mayor of Maury County, that bastion of economic freedom, that turbocharged engine of economic growth. Andy Ogles. Hello, Andy.
Ogles: Good morning.
Leahy: It is the Ogles family reunion. We have on our newsmaker line. (Ogles chuckles) State Representative Brandon Ogles, your first cousin. Good morning, Representative Ogles.
Rep. Ogles: Good morning. Thanks for having me this morning.
Leahy: One of the side benefits of having Andy in studio is he can call up his friends and say, come on in and talk to us.
Ogles: That’s right. Well, conservative friends.
Leahy: That’s right. Representative Brandon Ogles represents Williamson County. Tomorrow the special session on COVID launches. What’s going to happen there?
Rep. Ogles: I think today, actually at 4:00 pm is the deadline for filing legislation. You can still file something later, but if you wanted to get hurt on the first reading and second reading and get put to committees, it’ll have to be filed today.
There’s kind of a flurry of activity up here. Will be shortly. I got up here early before the sun was up, and we’re trying to get some stuff drafted and finalized. I think you’ll see a wide, the call is pretty broad.
You’re definitely going to see mask mandates, school boards, and vaccinations all addressed. It’s just in what fashion that will be addressed.
And by who. You’ll see, lots of bills filed today. But a lot of the activities and a lot of concerns that our constituents have will definitely be addressed in a special session.
Leahy: Brandon, do you have any particular legislation that you are interested in filing today?
Rep. Ogles: I’ve got several pieces that are definitely being filed. Which form those we’ll finish up with we’ll see. I’m following the mature minor doctrine, which basically gives medical providers the rights according to the Department of Health and a lot of the interpretation of case law, which I totally disagree from a judge the right to vaccinate children over the age of 14 without any parental consent.
That’s kind of been the conventional wisdom in the state. That definitely was not approved by the General Assembly. That was not signed into law by the governor. I’ve got a piece of legislation to do away with that.
It’s always a parent’s choice on the medical procedures that are performed against their child or to their benefit. We always hope for the benefit of that child.
We definitely want our doctors and medical providers to seek the approval of parents before they’re injecting our children with anything.
Leahy: That’s a very good point.
Ogles: I think that’s significant. For those the listeners that don’t realize what that does or the significance of this, especially in the age of COVID, you’ve got this huge marketing push now by your Department of Health’s across the country and even the Tennessee Department of Health to vaccinate children.
You have companies like Pfizer that are advocating the vaccination of children. Mind you, children aren’t at risk for serious illness unless they have some sort of comorbidity. And so you’re going to have this push to get vaccinations into the schools.
And as parents, I’m the father of three children, and Brandon, you have children as well. We should be able to determine the fate of our children, especially their health care.
Leahy: Brandon, you’re going to be involved in not just following that legislation, but other legislation. How does the General Assembly when it convenes, it looks like you’ve got a short period of time.
Lots of bills. What’s going to be the organizational structure that addresses those bills? Which ones will come to the floor? Which ones won’t be tended to?
Rep. Ogles: They don’t call us back without trying to have some form of organization. This legislation has been in the works for weeks, if not months. I’m a member of leadership, vice caucus chair for the majority Republican Party.
We try to coordinate the best we can. Once we get called back to all degrees, not to all degrees but for best description, it’s kind of a free for all. Every member of the General Assembly has the constitutional right to file legislation.
Whether or not everybody up here agrees with that should be filed as a different story. Everybody represents their constituents.
Everybody has different ideas. I invite a large filing of legislation because we need to see what people are thinking. It’s nice sometimes that people think outside the box. It’s nice sometimes to introduce things.
(Rep. Ogles disconnection)
Leahy: What were we saying, Andy?
Ogles: I think this special session is really important. This is one of those for example, the bill that creates liabilities. Representative Scott Cepicky from Maury County spoke at our local GOP meeting down there.
And so if you are a business and you mandate the vaccine, you’re assuming the liability if your employee has a side effect. And the way I understand it as it’s written if your side effect is 10 years from now and you’ve moved on, your previous employee would still share that liability.
Leahy: Will still have that liability.
(Rep. Ogles joins in)
Leahy: We talk about very important, controversial topics. You never know who’s listening. You never know who’s out there trying to cause a problem. (Ogles chuckles) So now what happens? A lot of bills will be filed, walk us through the process. Let’s say on your particular bill a very good one I might say, to clarify that the so-called mature minor doctrine, which was only a ruling in one very specific case back 30 years ago by the Tennessee Supreme Court.
Not a policy, not a statute. You want to say in your law, you proposed legislation that parental consent for any kind of vaccines would be required. Where does that go after you put it into the hopper today? What committee will it go through? What’s the process?
Rep. Ogles: For the special session, we’ll assign special committees. And usually, they like to do three committees. Split it up three ways and try to pass every piece of legislation through one of those committees.
The legislation process is different for every member. What I do and what I did with this mature minor doctrine is I drafted this several weeks ago, and most legislators kind of keep their legislation close to the vest because they want to win and want the credit. I distribute mine and give it away.
So if this some way gets cannibalized or eaten up or drafted into somebody else’s legislation, I’m all for that. Because if you are up here to really get things done and pass good policy, you really don’t care who gets the credit.
Usually, if I have an idea, I like to distribute it amongst leadership and all of the members that have been here longer than I have. And if somebody wants to put that in on their piece of legislation, sometimes we run big pieces of legislation that have multiple facets that they deal with.
I always invite if we’re working on something good, it doesn’t really matter sometimes who gets the credit as long as we get it kind of across the finish line. I distributed that mature minor doctrine out to everybody.
The Senate saw it as well and made the point to say this was important to my constituents. And I do think in one form or another, we will get something passed with that. How legislation gets passed almost changes up here daily.
Leahy: Well, you know the old saying, right? If you like sausage and laws, don’t watch either of them getting made.
Ogles: The mature minor doctrine. A lot of people don’t even know what that is. But in that court case and I won’t go into all the details.
But this is a 17-year-old young woman who was needing chronic back surgery and her parents refused. And then the court’s ruled that she could have it. And yet now you have the government wanting to vaccinate.
Leahy: And it was only in a court case. It wasn’t a law. Brandon Ogles, thanks so much for joining us. Last question. We have 30 seconds here. How long do you think this special session will last?
Rep. Ogles: I think it’ll wrap up by next week. If everything goes really smoothly, you could see it be finished as early as Friday. I don’t foresee that happening.
They’ve told everybody to be prepared to be here next week for sure. But we will see by today at 4:00 pm. But we will see. By today at 4 pm, you’ll kind of see how the board looks.
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