Biden’s Vaccine Mandates Are Going Before the Supreme Court
The United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments for two challenges to Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates, reports Fox News. One challenge is for Biden’s vaccine mandate for private businesses with over 100 employees, and the other is for healthcare workers at facilities receiving Medicaid and Medicare funding.
Biden’s vaccine mandates have been challenged repeatedly by the courts and blocked several times. However, an Obama-appointed judge ruled last week that the mandate can continue. It was inevitable that Biden’s vaccine mandates would end up at the Supreme Court.
The court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, delayed action on emergency requests in both cases that sought an immediate decision. The workplace mandate is currently in effect nationwide, while the healthcare worker mandate is blocked in half of the 50 U.S. states.
The White House is confident in the legal authority for the two mandates, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement, and the Justice Department “will vigorously defend both at the Supreme Court.”
The Biden administration has previously recognized their lack of authority to impose a vaccine mandate. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said earlier this summer that vaccine mandates are “not the role” of the federal government. “Well, I think the question here — one, that’s not the role of the federal government,” she said on July 23, offering no exception to this assessment. “That is the role that institutions, private-sector entities, and others may take. That certainly is appropriate.”
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain also effectively acknowledged that such a mandate isn’t constitutional when, back in September, he retweeted a tweet that effectively praised Biden’s use of an OSHA rule as a workaround for enacting an unconstitutional federal mandate.
Among the challengers are 27 mostly Republican-led states, various individual businesses and business groups, and two groups of religious entities, including the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Business challenges include the National Federation of Independent Business, a trade group that represents small businesses.
Last week, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati lifted a November injunction that had blocked the workplace rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which applies to businesses with at least 100 workers.
The healthcare worker rule, also challenged by mostly Republican-led states, required more than 2 million unvaccinated healthcare workers to receive a first vaccine dose by Dec. 6.
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