On Thursday, after the Supreme Court struck down Joe Biden’s most comprehensive vaccine mandate, Biden called on private companies to defy the Court’s ruling and mandate vaccinations on their own.
As The Hill reports, Biden’s remarks came after the Court voted by a 6-3 margin to strike down the nationwide mandate for private companies with over 100 employees. The mandate, which would have been implemented and overseen by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was deemed unconstitutional after critics argued that it had not been approved by Congress first, and was instead enacted unilaterally by Biden.
“As a result of the Court’s decision, it is now up to States and individual employers to determine whether to make their workplaces as safe as possible for employees,” Biden said, “and whether their businesses will be safe for consumers during this pandemic by requiring employees to take the simple and effective step of getting vaccinated.”
He also vowed to find other ways to work around the Court’s ruling, claiming that their decision “does not stop me from using my voice as President to advocate for employers to do the right thing to protect Americans’ health and economy.”
“I am disappointed that the Supreme Court has chosen to block common-sense life-saving requirements for employees at large businesses that were grounded squarely in both science and the law,” he continued angrily. “This emergency standard allowed employers to require vaccinations or to permit workers to refuse to be vaccinated, so long as they were tested once a week and wore a mask at work.” Biden called this sweeping mandate “a very modest burden.”
In a separate ruling the same day, the Court voted 5-4 to uphold another of Biden’s nationwide mandates, this one requiring vaccinations for all healthcare workers who are employed by a facility that receives funding from Medicare and Medicaid.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, attempting to save face for the administration after the stinging defeat of the OSHA mandate, praised the health care ruling by claiming, without evidence, that the decision would save the lives of patients as well as the lives of doctors, nurses, and others who work in health care settings.” Psaki also falsely claimed that polling shows that a majority percent of Americans support strict vaccine mandates.
In the OSHA ruling, all six of the Court’s conservative justices voted against it while the three liberal justices voted to uphold it. In the ruling on healthcare workers, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh sided with the three liberals for a narrow majority in favor of maintaining the mandate.