DOJ petitions Supreme Court in hopes of reinstating vaccine mandate

President Joe Biden attracted widespread opposition for pushing a series of sweeping COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Now, the White House is reportedly petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate a federal mandate impacting the nation’s health care workers.

Mandate blocked in nearly half of all states

According to Fox News, the case relates to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) requirement for employees at facilities benefitting from federal funding — including Medicare and Medicaid — to receive the vaccine with limited exceptions.

As with the president’s other vaccine decrees, this one was challenged in court on multiple fronts.

One of those challenges made it before a federal judicial panel in Louisiana and another was considered by federal judges in Missouri.

Those decisions ultimately resulted in COVID-19 vaccine mandates being blocked in 24 states.

In response, the Department of Justice reportedly submitted an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that the Louisiana and Missouri decisions should be overturned.

Biden administration fires back

The Biden administration insisted in its appeal that the “unprecedented pandemic” presented sufficient grounds for the HHS to exercise its “express authority to protect the health and safety of Medicare and Medicaid patients” with a vaccine mandate.

Furthermore, the legal document asserted that the mandate “will save hundreds or even thousands of lives each month” and cited an Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision affirming that “it is a valid exercise of the Secretary’s authority.”

In response to another court’s decision blocking the mandate in a number of states, the Justice Department called for “a stay of that injunction to allow the Secretary’s urgently needed health and safety measure to take effect before the winter spike in COVID-19 cases worsens further.”

It remains to be seen whether the nation’s highest court will take up the case, but for now, the matter is in Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s hands. The conservative jurist is responsible for overseeing cases from the geographic location in which the case is being pursued.

Despite persistent pushback against private-sector mandates, Biden continues to defend his position. As recently as last month, he declared: “Vaccination requirements are good for the economy. They not only increase vaccination rates but they help send people back to work – as many as 5 million American workers. They make our economy more resilient in the face of COVID and keep our businesses open.”

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