The United States Supreme Court is ready to block Biden’s vaccine mandate on private employees, as judges heard arguments regarding the mandate on Friday for almost four hours.
However, the judges seem lenient regarding the vaccine mandate on health workers.
Conservative judges looking to block vaccine mandate
Two vaccine mandates of Biden’s were challenged in the US Supreme Court; three liberal judges were inclined to give both mandates their approval.
Both lawyers representing states challenging the vaccination rules were not present in the court chambers, due to the COVID procedures.
Benjamin M. Flowers, the Ohio lawyer who contracted COVID, despite getting vaccinated, recovered some days ago; however, the PCR test required to enter the courtroom found him COVID-positive. Therefore, he made arguments remotely.
Although the same Supreme Court was receptive to local and state vaccine mandates in the past, Biden’s attempt to do the same at the federal level has raised many legal complications.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) January 9, 2022
Conservative Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas noted Biden’s vaccination rules are too broad to be allowed.
Barrett indicated a “more targeted” vaccine mandate would be helpful to pass legal challenges, instead of sweeping mandates which the Biden administration is currently pursuing.
Similarly, Thomas opined along the same lines, indicating younger unvaccinated workers are not as vulnerable as older workers, so all private workers should not be treated the same way.
He also mentioned states should be the ones leading the efforts of vaccine mandates instead of the federal government, thus repeating Biden, who claimed last year states should lead the efforts to curb coronavirus.
Only Congress can enact a vaccine mandate
Two nominees of former President Trump, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, inquired whether a federal agency is able to mandate so many sweeping regulations, without congressional approval, that impact the economic and political infrastructure of the country.
Chief Justice John Roberts also agreed with this concern by his colleagues. He maintained the federal government is acting on an “agency by agency” basis to avoid dealing with Congress and states.
On the other hand, the vaccine mandate on certain healthcare workers enjoyed the approval of many judges, including Chief Justice Roberts. He indicated health workers are more vulnerable to catching COVID, due to their jobs.
During the arguments, liberal justices continued voicing their opinion regarding the mandates, as they repeatedly counted the death numbers of Americans.
Justice Elena Kagan asserted more than 10 million people have died of COVID in the whole world and it is the greatest danger faced by Americans.
“If allowed to take effect, the mandate will exacerbate one of the worst labor shortages in American history.”
This unconstitutional mandate hurts America’s workers and is nothing more than an authoritarian power grab. https://t.co/gkcP4E3yPN
— House Republicans (@HouseGOP) January 8, 2022
While the vaccine mandate on private workers is impacting 80 million people, the healthcare vaccine mandate is affecting almost 10.3 million staffers in America.
The top court will announce its verdict in days to come.
Many legal experts have voiced their concerns against Biden’s vaccine mandate. The solicitor general of Louisiana, Elizabeth Murril, noted the mandate is unconstitutional and can only be implemented if Congress agrees to do so.