NY Times says the private business vax mandate (the OSHA one) is unlikely to survive, but that the CMS vaccine mandate for healthcare facilities that receive federal money will survive.
The Supreme Court’s conservative majority seemed to be leaning on Friday toward blocking one of the White House’s main pandemic-fighting strategies, expressing skepticism that the Biden administration has the legal power to mandate that large employers require workers to be vaccinated or to undergo frequent testing.
The oral argument over that mandate, which rocketed to the court on an emergency basis after a flurry of legal challenges around the nation from Republican-led states, business groups and others, raised the prospect that the court might deal a severe blow to the Biden administration’s efforts to address the coronavirus as the highly transmissible Omicron variant continues to spread.
The court seemed more likely to allow a separate mandate requiring health care workers at facilities receiving federal money to be vaccinated. That regulation, the subject of a second case, was in keeping with other kinds of federal oversight of medical facilities and was supported by virtually the entire medical establishment, some justices said.
This last sentence here–that the CMS mandate “was supported by virtually the entire medical establishment”–might hold a lot of sway with the typical NY Times reader, but not with me, and I’ll bet not with you, either. The “entire medical establishment” is not even an accurate assessment, as there are plenty of doctors who disagree (although you’ll never hear from them in the New York Times–you have to go to Joe Rogan for that).
But the questioning concerning the employer mandate was more lopsided. That regulation, one of the most far-reaching policies imposed by President Biden in a bid to control the pandemic, would affect 84 million American workers employed by companies with more than 100 workers. Several conservative justices said it was doubtful that a federal workplace safety law provided the administration with the legal authority to impose it.
The court may act quickly in the case, which was argued on an exceptionally rapid schedule.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said the states and Congress, rather than a federal agency, were better suited to address the pandemic in the nation’s workplaces. “This is something that the federal government has never done before,” he said, adding that the administration’s several virus-related mandates were “a workaround” in response to congressional inaction.
The states and Congress are “better suited” to addressing the pandemic than a federal agency? It’s more like, the states and Congress are the only entities that actually have the power to impose a vaccine mandate. The OSHA mandate is an egregious overreach.
But it’s at least a good sign that even Roberts is signaling his opposition.
Justice Amy Coney Barrett said the challenged regulation appeared to reach too broadly in covering all large employers. Meatpacking plants and dental offices might be subject to regulation, she said, while landscapers should not be.
Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh suggested that the governing statute had not authorized the agency to impose the mandate clearly enough, given the political and economic stakes.
And since we know that Thomas and Alito are already going to vote the right way, this would seem to seal the deal: the OSHA mandate is going to be rejected, probably by a 6-3 vote.
The hearing came as the Omicron variant has led to a steep rise in coronavirus cases, keeping people from returning to the office and increasing hospitalizations. Economists worry the surge in cases could halt job growth in the coming months.
CASES!!!!!!!!!!!! OH NO, EVERYBODY RUN FOR YOUR LIVES: NEW CASES!!!!!!
Even if they’re overwhelmingly asymptomatic–CASES!!!! AHHHHHH!!!!
The court’s three more liberal justices said the mandate was a needed response to the public health crisis.
“This is a pandemic in which nearly a million people have died,” Justice Elena Kagan said. “It is by far the greatest public health danger that this country has faced in the last century.”
This is what I was talking about yesterday: the liberal justices are not actually discussing the matter at hand, which is whether a federal agency has the power to impose a vax mandate on 84 million people.
All they’re saying is that Covid-2019 is bad and scary, thus is it imperative that the federal government have unlimited power.
“We know that the best way to prevent spread is for people to get vaccinated,” she said.
Honestly, Elena Kagan should be disqualified from this case just for saying that. As should Sotomayor. They clearly have zero understanding of the facts here. Or they’re lying.
Claiming that the vaccines prevent the spread of Covid-2019 should immediately disqualify you from having any input on Covid-2019 policy.
The data speaks for itself:
CLEARLY the problem is that not enough people have been vaccinated!
The Times article then goes on to reason that the CMS vax mandate for healthcare workers will probably survive. While I don’t think this is a good thing at all, I am more concerned about the private business vax mandate. If that one is allowed to stand, then for all intents and purposes, we are no longer a free country at all.
If you can’t even earn a living to support yourself unless you’ve been stabbed with Pfizer’s experimental myocarditis shot, then this country is gone. Done.
But the CMS mandate being allowed to stand will still result in a lot of healthcare workers losing their jobs. Apparently that’s what constitutes Science™-Based policy in 2022.