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Supreme Court Punts On Decision Regarding Biden Vaccine Mandate

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Americans who were hoping for a swift decision by the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the constitutionality of the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate will have to wait longer, even though it went into effect earlier this week.

“And we have our one SCOTUS opinion of the day. Held: Civil-service pension payments based on employment as a dual-status military technician are not payments based on “service as a member of a uniformed service” under 42 U. S. C. §415(a)(7)(A)(III),” conservative pundit Phil Kerpen with American Commitment tweeted Thursday morning following the ruling.

That led to much derision and mocking from Red State:

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Unfortunately, despite the finality of the enforcement of the mandate on millions of Americans (you can’t de-vaccinate yourself), the court chose to release only one decision today.

Clearly, a case on civil-service pensions needed to be decided post-haste. But when it comes to forcing irreversible vaccinations on private employees despite the fact that vaccines don’t stop the spread of the virus, SCOTUS has all the time in the world. It’s completely inexplicable.

The mandate, which has officially been implemented by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), went into effect earlier this week, via The Epoch Times:

On Monday, the Biden administration’s vaccination mandate pertaining to private employers went into effect across the nation, despite the rule currently facing multiple legal challenges in the Supreme Court.

As of Jan. 10, 2022, businesses with 100 or more employees are now required to ensure that all employees have been fully vaccinated with either two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or one dose of Johnson & Johnson’s, and they must provide paid leave to workers getting the vaccine.

Employers of businesses subject to the mandate must also keep track of workers’ vaccination status via a database, provide employees with their company’s vaccine policy and procedures, and ensure unvaccinated employees wear a mask while indoors.

The rule is set to affect roughly 84 million U.S. workers and businesses that do not comply could face fines of up to $14,000 per violation.

In November, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans issued a nationwide injunction on enforcement of the mandate, but a few weeks later, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati reversed the Fifth after the case was assigned to that district.

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So, barring a final ruling from SCOTUS, the Sixth Circuit’s ruling stands.

That said, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said following oral arguments before the high court last week that he feels confident the mandate will be overturned.

“I feel about the same that I did going in,” he said to the host of The Vince Coglianese Show and Daily Caller editorial director Vince Coglianese. “I really believe that the law and the facts are squarely on our side. Of course, as always, I get concerned about the politics of the court.”

However, he said, “it seemed like the court today took this issue very seriously.”

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He added that the vaccine mandate case “could be one of the most important cases that is decided in our lifetimes,” as he complained about some of the justice’s apparent lack of knowledge.

“I was disappointed with the politics of those justices,” he said. “I guess I was a little chagrined that we didn’t strike back at them. Justice Breyer did it again and again and again.”

Some of the court’s liberal justices were pilloried for making easily debunked statements during oral arguments.

For instance, Justice Stephen Breyer appeared to suggest that vaccines would stop the spread of the virus, saying that the claim more Americans would leave the workforce if the mandate stood was moot because “more may quit when they discover they have to work together with unvaccinated others because that means they may get the disease.”

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Justice Sonia Sotomayor continued with her own facts as well.

“Catching COVID keeps people out of the workplace for extraordinary periods of time,” she said at one point.

And she said that “those numbers show that omicron is as deadly and causes as much serious disease in the unvaccinated as delta did,” even as studies show that the Omicron variant is significantly less severe.

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