In Brief: Courts Curb-Stomping Biden Vax Mandates
Jonathan Turley explains why Joe Biden is losing over and over again in court.
Joe Biden repeatedly told us he didn’t have the authority to impose vaccination mandates and that there were no plans to do so. Then he did it anyway, mandating vaccination for federal employees and contractors, Medicare and Medicaid workers, and employees of companies with 100 or more workers — that’s millions of people. All of those mandates have been challenged in court, and they’re getting smacked down.
George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley explains why:
A U.S. district court in Georgia became the fourth court to enjoin a Biden administration vaccine mandate [last] week.
As with the other trial and appellate courts, District Judge R. Stan Baker found that President Joe Biden had exceeded his authority in mandating the vaccine for all federal contractors. …
All of these mandates are on course for a showdown in the Supreme Court, where three justices have already expressed skepticism over the mandates.
Perhaps Biden’s gambit was that many people would comply even if the mandates were later struck down. But it’s a seriously problematic power grab.
Other courts have enjoined mandates under OSHA and Medicare. In the OSHA case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled based on its own “serious constitutional concerns.”
In the prior column, I noted that chief of staff Ron Klain acknowledged that the use of OSHA was a “work around” in light of the constitutional barriers preventing President Biden from ordering a national mandate directly. The Fifth Circuit quoted Klain in a footnote in granting its injunction.
Biden and Klain often seem to be competing for the greatest admissions-against-interest, including a prior admission from President Biden that they would be pursuing a presumptively unconstitutional measure simply to buy more time to spend more money on the now defunct eviction moratorium.
Klain was celebrating a way to evade constitutional limitations — but for courts reviewing the OSHA rule, that is akin to a husband telling a spouse that he has found a “work-around” to his vows by redefining extramarital relations.
Turley says vaccines aren’t the issue; mandates are. “Many of us support vaccinations. The question is whether there is the legal authority to require others to be vaccinated.” He also says more needs to be determined regarding both “religious exemptions and natural antibodies,” which some studies show “confer greater protection than vaccines.” He concludes:
Over the last year, courts have remained highly deferential. However, the three justices previously noted that “if human nature and history teach us anything, it is that civil liberties face grave risks when governments proclaim indefinite states of emergency.”
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