The day of reckoning for 84 million American employees has finally come. By vote of 6-3, the Supreme Court blocked the Biden vaccine mandate via OSHA. To many Americans, this is a victory, as they either defied their employer mandates or successfully received exemptions. Unfortunately, for millions more, they took the jabs to save their jobs, risking serious injury and in some cases death, only for SCOTUS to block the mandate. Others lost their jobs or were unable to attain employment.
Courtesy of John Roberts, this victory is one of technicality. The Supreme Court neither deliberated to the effectiveness of the policy or the constitutionality of mandated jabs. No, they left in place the requirement for healthcare workers receiving Medicare/Medicaid payments. Therefore, they did not rule whether the US Constitution allows for mandated vaccinations for its citizenry. In fact, they left that door wide open thanks primarily to John Roberts, who would loath to be in the minority on any matter. Additionally, Kavanaugh deserves special blame for siding against healthcare workers. Personally, I believe he penned the Per Curiam opinions, which was for both cases the official decision.
Writing the concurring opinion was none other than Neil Gorsuch, who famously legislated the Equality Act from the bench despite supposedly being an originalist justice. Even though he sides in the dissenting opinion with the healthcare workers, his reasoning in his concurring opinion is cause for concern, and this is when the “republican” justices write opinions.
Not only must the federal government properly invoke a constitutionally enumerated source of authority to regulate in this area or any other. It must also act consistently with the Constitution’s separation of powers. And when it comes to that obligation, this Court has established at least one firm rule: “We expect Congress to speak clearly” if it wishes to assign to an executive agency decisions “of vast economic and political significance.”
Obviously, Neil Gorsuch forgot about the Obamacare ruling which came from John Roberts, but nonetheless he poses the issue as one of specifically enumerated authority from Congress. Already he ignores medical efficacy, freedom of religion/conscious, and “right to privacy” issues at stake regarding mandatory jabs. The real substantive concerns go unaddressed and seemingly do not matter.
Yet Congress has nowhere clearly assigned so much power to OSHA. Approximately two years have passed since this pandemic began; vaccines have been available for more than a year. Over that span, Congress has adopted several major pieces of legislation aimed at combating COVID…But Congress has chosen not to afford OSHA—or any federal agency—the authority to issue a vaccine mandate. Indeed, a majority of the Senate even voted to disapprove OSHA’s regulation.
Basically, this portion of Gorsuch’s opinion claims that if Congress wanted to authorize vaccine requirements, they would have done so since they have passed several significant pieces of legislation pertaining to Covid. Moreover, he cites the majority of senators being against the measure as evidence Congress did not allocate this sweeping authority. Gorsuch goes on to recount case precedent regarding the limitations of OSHA.
As the agency itself explained to a federal court less than two years ago, the statute does “not authorize OSHA to issue sweeping health standards” that affect workers’ lives outside the workplace…Yet that is precisely what the agency seeks to do now—regulate not just what happens inside the workplace but induce individuals to undertake a medical procedure that affects their lives outside the workplace. Historically, such matters have been regulated at the state level by authorities who enjoy broader and more general governmental powers. Meanwhile, at the federal level, OSHA arguably is not even the agency most associated with public health regulation. And in the rare instances when Congress has sought to mandate vaccinations, it has done so expressly.
From this caveat it could be concluded that HHS imposing the vaccine mandate on healthcare workers is legally permissible, but not as an emergency measure from OSHA. Furthermore, the door is opened for the state and local governments—or at least it is not expressly closed. The same might follow for our service members in the Armed Forces. I would argue that under the Doctrine of Incorporation, which by way of the 14th Amendment extends the Bill of Rights onto the state and local level, if the Federal Government cannot mandate jabs to private workers, then neither can the states. Unfortunately, the lawyers arguing on behalf of “our cause” did not articulate constitutional concerns. Perhaps this is because we have jabbed individuals representing the unjabbed. They argued technicality so America got two decisions that were in essence, technicality.
The question before us is not how to respond to the pandemic, but who holds the power to do so. The answer is clear: Under the law as it stands today, that power rests with the States and Congress, not OSHA. In saying this much, we do not impugn the intentions behind the agency’s mandate. Instead, we only discharge our duty to enforce the law’s demands when it comes to the question who may govern the lives of 84 million Americans. Respecting those demands may be trying in times of stress. But if this Court were to abide them only in more tranquil conditions, declarations of emergencies would never end and the liberties our Constitution’s separation of powers seeks to preserve would amount to little.
Gorsuch concludes his opinion citing that they are not deciding on the merits of the mandate, just whether the authority is granted by Congress. Meanwhile, five justices concluded that HHS has that authority as broadly expressed by Congress. Unfortunately, we have a fully jabbed, fully boosted SCOTUS which will not require that the effectiveness of the policies be proven before a government can implement them. For this reason, Neil Gorsuch and John Roberts have allowed the healthcare workers to be sacrificed to the mandate, but not the rest of us. His final sentence lacks the awareness that the Covid emergency is going on two years and has no signs of ending, so while he might pontificate future abuses of power under peaceful circumstances, the separation of powers, the most important being between the government and the people have been trampled, yet this court could barely be forced to contend with constitutional abuses of powers pertaining to Covidstan policies.
The damage has been done. Too many hands have revealed themselves, and this applies both personally and politically. Families and friends have been torn over these ineffective jabs. I’m sure Jim Daly will praise the God he did not place his faith in for this judicial victory. How much more would someone like Daly have gained had he done nothing in the lead up to this victory? No, instead he tarnished his organization and his personal reputation. Not even neocon Daily Wire did that, and they absolutely shill the clot shot as a miracle of modern science, which Jeremy Boreing would mandate if he were a dictator. The same goes for SEBTS, IMB, and countless other organizations, which will contend for your dollars so they can capitulate the next time Caesar calls.
While some might take this opportunity to praise God for temporary reprieve, and perhaps rightfully so, the reality is that this is a precursor to the function of the court going forward. Any victories, assuming they actually occur, will continue to be uncomprehensive technicalities. Thanks to John Roberts, the 6-3 majority, while more numerically decisive, will yield worse outcomes than a 5-4 without him.
Because of Roberts, we can reasonably expect that SCOTUS will not overturn of Roe v Wade in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which is the Mississippi abortion law. Instead, they will possible permit the 15-week abortion ban to take effect, and likely nothing more. Mississippi will become the line. But that is not good enough. We fight for total abolition, not a fifteen-week cap so we can be like Europe. Of course, this assumes that all three Trump justices rule in favor of Mississippi, because Roberts will happily place himself on the majority.
So take this as a reminder to temper your expectations. SCOTUS is not your savior. Put your faith in Christ alone.