Biden admin in trouble as SCOTUS weighs validity of COVID vax mandates

President Joe Biden’s attempts to skirt Congress and the states by using federal agencies to implement his COVID-19 vaccine mandates appear to be in jeopardy, according to the Washington Examiner. 

Last Friday, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments challenging two of Biden’s mandates. The court’s conservative majority seemed to take issue with the Biden administration’s approach.

Biden’s lawyers grilled

One of the big questions is whether the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the agency that Biden has tasked with implementing his vaccine mandate for large employers, has the authority to do so. The Supreme Court’s conservatives, somewhat surprisingly led by Chief Justice John Roberts, appeared skeptical during oral arguments.

Roberts, during the arguments, brought up the 1970 law that created OSHA, arguing that there is no way Congress had the current pandemic in mind when it passed that law. Roberts also pressed Biden’s legal team on why OSHA, rather than Congress or the states, ought to be leading the way on the program.

The court’s other conservative justices wondered the same. Justice Neil Gorsuch, for example, said, “Congress had a year to act on the question of vaccine mandates already. As the chief justice points out, it appears that the federal government is going agency-by-agency as a work-around to its inability to get Congress to act.”

Just Amy Coney Barrett also argued that the OSHA rule is overly broad, encompassing far more than it needs to.

The liberals hit back

The court’s liberal justices did their best to make arguments in favor of Biden’s vaccine mandates. Most notable among them was Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Sotomayor tried to make the argument for vaccine mandates by highlighting the severity of the pandemic. However, she used false facts to do so, wrongly claiming, as Fox News noted, that 100,000 children are hospitalized “in serious condition” from COVID-19. She also claimed that the vaccine mandates really are not mandates.

Justice Stephen Breyer, on the other hand, argued that the vaccine mandates are in the public’s interest. Justice Elena Kagan claimed that the mandates ought to remain because there is no other policy that “will prevent sickness and death to anywhere like the degree that this one will.”

What now?

Based on the way oral arguments went, it seems that the justices will rule along ideological lines with the conservatives ruling against the mandates and the liberals ruling for them. Considering that the court has a conservative majority, this is good news for those that oppose Biden’s mandates.

It has to be said, though, that there are no guarantees until the justices release their decision, which is expected early this week.

The importance of this decision cannot be understated. It will have a huge impact on the direction of this country going forward.

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