On Sept. 9, 2021, as the catastrophic exit from Afghanistan continued to get worse by the hour, President Biden scheduled remarks from the White House.
“The expansive rules mandate that all employers with more than 100 workers require them to be vaccinated or test for the virus weekly, affecting about 80 million Americans. And the roughly 17 million workers at health facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid also will have to be fully vaccinated,” the Associated Press reported at the time, noting that the Occupational Safety and Health Adminstration (OSHA) was tasked with enforcement. “Biden is also signing an executive order to require vaccination for employees of the executive branch and contractors who do business with the federal government — with no option to test out. That covers several million more workers.”
At the time of Biden’s announcement, White House chief of staff Ron KlainRon KlainNew variant raises questions about air travel mandates White House scrambles for safety on holiday parties The massive messaging miscues of all the president’s men (and women) MORE acknowledged the use of OSHA was a way to “work around” current federal law, something a judge would later notice and use to halt parts of the mandate.
Shortly after Biden’s proclamation, a number of lawsuits were swiftly filed across the country by state attorneys general, private sector companies and federal contractors. While Biden and administration officials claimed they were confident in the legal standing of the mandates, they’ve been shot down repeatedly.
In November, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals instructed OSHA to halt the implementation and enforcement of the mandate. The Court cited Klain’s motives as evidence the administration was trying to get around the law to justify Biden’s overreaching executive order.
“On September 9, 2021, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain retweeted MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle’s tweet that stated, ‘OSHA doing this vcxx mandate as an emergency workplace safety rule is the ultimate work-around for the Federal govt to require vaccinations,” the ruling notes.
In Missouri, U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Schelp recently issued an injunction on Biden’s vaccine mandates for Medicare and Medicaid workers.
“The mandate requires nearly every employee, volunteer, and third-party contractor working at fifteen categories of healthcare facilities to be vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 (‘COVID’) and to have received at least a first dose of the vaccine prior to December 6, 2021,” court documents show. “Congress did not grant CMS authority to mandate the vaccine. Plaintiffs are likely to succeed in their argument that Congress has not provided CMS the authority to enact the regulation at issue here.”
One day later, Louisiana Western District U.S. Judge Terry Doughty issued a nationwide injunction for all health care workers.
“If the executive branch is allowed to usurp the power of the legislative branch to make laws, two of the three powers conferred by our Constitution would be in the same hands,” Doughty wrote. “If human nature and history teach anything, it is that civil liberties face grave risks when governments proclaim indefinite states of emergency.”
And finally this week, a federal judge in Georgia issued a nationwide injunction against Biden’s mandate for federal government contractors.
“While the Procurement Act explicitly and unquestionably bestows some authority upon the President, the Court is unconvinced, at this state of the litigation, that it authorized him to direct the type of actions by agencies that are contained in EO 14042. Pursuant to clear United States Supreme Court precedent, Congress is expected to ‘speak clearly’ when authorizing the exercise of powers of ‘vast economic and political significance,” Judge Stan Baker of Southern District of Georgia wrote.
Each ruling cited Biden’s lack of authority from Congress to issue the mandate. The Biden administration knew this was going to happen and in December 2020, President-elect BidenJoe BidenHouse passes 8B defense policy bill House approves bill to ease passage of debt limit hike Senate rejects attempt to block Biden’s Saudi arms sale MORE had a very different position.
“I don’t think it [vaccine] should be mandatory. I wouldn’t demand it to be mandatory,” Biden said.
Over the summer, White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiAustralia joins US in diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics Biden Supreme Court study panel unanimously approves final report White House: Biden would veto GOP resolution to nix vaccine mandate MORE said the same.
“That’s not the role of the federal government,” Psaki said in July. “What our role is and what we are going to continue to do is make the vaccine available.”
Despite a pile of court cases and rulings proving Biden doesn’t have the authority to issue sweeping mandates, the president is telling businesses to ignore court opinions. He’s still intent on bullying companies to force employees to make a choice between vaccination and their livelihood. Further, White House officials continue to say vaccine and testing requirements for domestic travel are still being considered. If the president truly wants to spur recovery from the pandemic, he should listen to the courts and get out of the way.