Thomas Gallatin / November 18, 2021

OSHA Suspends Implementing Biden’s Vax Mandate

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals will handle all the lawsuits against the president’s mandate.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced that it is suspending implementation of Joe Biden’s COVID vaccine mandate on all private businesses with 100 or more employees “pending future developments in the litigation.” This decision comes after a second court of appeals, this time the Sixth Circuit Court, will weigh in on the case following the Fifth Circuit Court transferring it. Last week, the Fifth Circuit issued an order blocking the vaccine mandate’s implementation.

Under rules regulating OSHA, all lawsuits regarding an issue directly related to the agency are to be consolidated and handled by one court chosen by lottery, and the lot fell to the Sixth Circuit. To date, 34 lawsuits have been filed against OSHA’s vaccine mandate. All of them now will be handled by the Sixth Circuit, which has members of the Leftmedia lamenting that a “conservative-leaning” court will rule on the issue.

The Biden administration hopes to persuade the Sixth Circuit to lift the stay imposed by the Fifth Circuit on the vaccine mandate. However, OSHA’s decision to suspend implementation indicates that the administration believes the court is unlikely to lift the block until it rules on the case.

As we have contended, not only does Biden’s COVID vaccine mandate significantly overstep the constitutional boundaries of executive authority, it’s also a complete reversal of his own and his administration’s repeatedly stated position. Last December, Biden said, “No, I don’t think [the COVID vaccine] should be mandatory.” In July, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki addressed the issue: “Can we mandate vaccines across the country? No, that’s not a role that the federal government, I think, even has the power to make.” And for what it’s worth, as late as August, Dr. Anthony Fauci asserted, “You’re not going to see a central mandate coming from the federal government.”

Biden only reversed himself when he thought doing so would boost his flagging poll numbers, not because he’d suddenly discovered a penumbra to cover his action.

For true constitutionalists who believe in the Rule of Law, Biden’s initial position was the correct position, and Psaki’s initial assessment as to the role and authoritative power of the federal government to enact such a sweeping mandate was the more accurate one.

Congress set limits on OSHA’s regulatory powers that are specific to workplace hazards. The agency was not given authority to regulate vaccines or the healthcare decisions of workers. The regulation of vaccines — which are intended to protect against viruses, not workplace hazards — falls under the purview of the Food and Drug Administration, an agency with the power to green-light vaccines, but not the power to mandate them. The FDA’s approval of a vaccine can then empower the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to recommend a vaccine, though the CDC likewise has no authority to impose a general vaccine mandate.

Biden’s abuse of power is now being checked by the courts, where his OSHA vaccine mandate should be ruled unlawful and permanently stopped. At least for now, folks worried about imminently losing their jobs for failure to abide by the vaccine mandate have been given a reprieve.

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