"I hope the Supreme Court actually strikes down these two mandates that are before the Court," says Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, one of the many law firms challenging the mandates. "One mandate is involving the Occupational Safety and Health Administration [OSHA], involving employers with 100 or more employees, and the other is the Medicaid/Medicare mandate covering the health care workers."
President Biden announced the mandates in September, saying it was necessary to combat the spread of COVID-19:
"I'm announcing that the Department of Labor is developing an emergency rule to require all employers with 100 or more employees … to ensure their workforces are fully vaccinated or show a negative test at least once a week," Biden stated on September 9.
He continued: "My plan will extend the vaccination requirements that I previously issued in the health care field … because I have that federal authority …. I'm using that same authority to expand that to cover those who work in hospitals, home health care facilities, or other medical facilities – a total of 17 million health care workers."
Staver challenges Biden on his claim that he has the authority as chief executive to issue such mandates.
"Both of these are beyond the constitutional authority of the Biden administration to impose these kinds of mandates without the legislative process," the attorney argues. "So, I think what we really are facing here is a constitutional crisis with this administration just simply ignoring the rule of law."
The Heritage Foundation is among groups that filed lawsuits to halt the mandate on private employers, arguing OSHA doesn't have the statutory authority to do that.
"No constitutional or legal authority is given to the federal government to issue this type of mandate, and the Supreme Court should reiterate this fact quickly and without ambiguity," said Heritage president Kevin Roberts in a press release today.
"President Biden himself recently said there is 'no federal solution' to the pandemic, while arguing prior to his September directive that federal vaccine mandates are 'not the role of the federal government.' Why then should any American be bound by this oppressive mandate?"
Liberty Counsel points out that since the 1970s, OSHA has issued a total of nine ETSs (Emergency Temporary Standards), six of which were challenged in the courts. Five of those six ETSs were struck down by the Courts of Appeal.