SCOTUS considers arguments in cases against Biden’s vaccine mandates

by Summer Lane

Scotus Considers Arguments In Cases Against Biden’s Vaccine MandatesText Here

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) on Friday heard oral arguments in two cases challenging the constitutionality of Joe Biden’s federal vaccine mandates, signaling the possibility of striking them down.

The court heard arguments for the OSHA case (National Federation of Independent Business v. Department of Labor) and the health care vaccine case (Biden v. Missouri).

The oral arguments for the OSHA case lasted over two hours, and it appeared that most of the Supreme Court Justices were critical of Biden’s administrative actions to implement a nationwide vaccine mandate while utilizing OSHA as an enforcement unit.

Several of the Justices pressed the Solicitor General on the question of why OSHA has taken such a deep interest in the coronavirus vaccines, despite the presence of other vaccines for serious diseases such as Polio.

Additionally, Justice Amy Coney Barrett questioned the argument of using the coronavirus pandemic “emergency” as an excuse to mandate compulsory vaccinations in the United States. “At what point does the ‘emergency’ end?” she asked. “Do we have any reason to believe that Covid will be any less dangerous two years from now?”

Further, Justice Elena Kagan posed the question of what risk would be presented in the workplace if employees came to work unvaccinated. The lawyer responded, “OSHA’s own data says it’s unclear to what extent, if any, the vaccines reduce transmission.” Justice Neil Gorsuch also pointed out that the “Major Questions Doctrine” was not about judges or courts regulating public health, but rather, it was focused more on what the scope of Congress’ Commerce Clause power actually is.

By contrast, the Justices seemed slightly more receptive to the idea of vaccine mandates in the health care setting, specifically those that accept federal funding. Justice John Roberts remarked, “You signed the contract,” perhaps hinting that the court will uphold the vaccine mandate in instances where Medicare and Medicaid are funding healthcare operations and employee payrolls, according to an analysis from SCOTUS Blog.

The complex legal arguments for and against the federal vaccine mandates appear cut and dried to many average Americans who support the freedom to make their own medical choices. However, while SCOTUS seems to be leaning in the direction of striking down the vaccine mandates in the OSHA case, there is a possibility that they will uphold the mandates in healthcare facilities that take federal funding.

A final decision from the courts is expected next week.

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