The United States Supreme Court is hearing arguments Friday on two of Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates. The first mandate is the vax-or-test requirement for private businesses with 100 or more employees; the other is the vaccine mandate for health care workers.
Biden’s vaccine mandates were promptly challenged in the courts and were blocked several times. However, an Obama-appointed judge ruled last month that the large-business mandate could continue.
It is widely expected that the conservative-leaning court will rule against the mandates. The cases were accelerated to the court on an emergency basis, and a decision could come in weeks, if not days, according to the Associated Press.
The Biden administration has previously recognized their lack of authority to impose a vaccine mandate. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said earlier this summer that vaccine mandates are “not the role” of the federal government. “Well, I think the question here — one, that’s not the role of the federal government,” she said on July 23, offering no exception to this assessment. “That is the role that institutions, private-sector entities, and others may take. That certainly is appropriate.”
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain also effectively acknowledged that such a mandate isn’t constitutional when, back in September, he retweeted a tweet that effectively praised Biden’s use of an OSHA rule as a workaround for enacting an unconstitutional federal mandate.
Biden’s vaccine mandates had majority support months ago, but attitudes have shifted, likely in part due to labor and health care worker shortages. A recent Zogby Strategies poll suggested that 2022 will see a significant backlash against national mandates. “Regarding COVID-19 vaccine mandates, overwhelmingly, 53% prefer personal choice to 37% who want government mandates,” Zogby found. In addition, a plurality of voters also believes it’s right to “disobey mandates from the President.”
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