On Friday, the Supreme Court is set to hold a special hearing regarding two of the nationwide vaccine mandates imposed by Joe Biden, and could ultimately determine whether or not such mandates are constitutional.
As reported by The Daily Caller, Biden’s mandate on private businesses with 100 or more employees, as well as the mandate for all healthcare workers to get vaccinated, will be reviewed by the Court after both had previously been challenged in various lower courts. The private employer mandate is set to be implemented by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), while the healthcare workers’ mandate would fall under the jurisdiction of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Arguably the most controversial of all the mandates, the OSHA restrictions were set to begin on January 4th, but were almost immediately challenged by business advocacy groups, individual states, and other entities. It was initially blocked by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, before the Sixth Circuit overturned that ruling, thus sending the case to the Supreme Court for the final verdict. The CMS mandate has been blocked by federal judges in the states of Missouri and Louisiana, which has halted its implementation in roughly half of the states in the country.
The primary argument against the OSHA mandate is that OSHA does not have the authority to create and execute such sweeping restrictions without the approval of Congress. As the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIP) wrote in their court filing against the mandate, “Congress did not clearly authorize OSHA to commandeer businesses into implementing a vaccine, testing, masking, and tracking mandate for 84 million Americans.”
“Respondents’ argument betrays their fundamental misunderstanding of the role of Executive Branch agencies,” NFIB continued.
The lawsuit also argues that if the mandate goes into effect, it could result in a mass exodus of workers from the labor force, which would devastate small businesses and hurt the economy as a whole. “If this rule is not stayed by Monday,” said Karen Harned, executive director of the NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center, “people are going to start quitting their jobs.”
Opposition to the CMS mandate similarly claims that the agency alone does not have the power to issue a nationwide mandate, and also points out that such restrictions could result in many healthcare workers quitting or getting fired
“If the Mandate goes into effect, it will—and has already begun to—disrupt the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans,” according to a lawsuit filed by multiple states challenging the CMS mandate, “CMS estimates it will force 2.4 million currently unvaccinated healthcare workers to either forfeit informed consent and bodily autonomy or their jobs.”
The Biden Administration has publicly responded by claiming that it does not need Congress’s approval for such mandates.
“Respondents ask this Court to depart from ordinary principles of statutory interpretation by demanding a clear statement specifically authorizing a vaccination requirement,” the administration argued in its own filings. “That approach has no foundation in this Court’s precedents. This is not a case where an agency is acting outside its expertise or regulating in an area Congress has not authorized.”