Supreme Court justices on Friday will hear oral arguments on two Biden administration COVID-19 vaccine mandates, including one imposed on every business with 100 or more workers.
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, a Republican, will be among those arguing against the mandates. Landry sued the administration with other states over them.
The Supreme Court should pause the mandates because federal agencies did not follow proper rulemaking guidelines and exceeded their statutory authority, Landry told The Epoch Times hours before the arguments were set to start.
“If the court allows these mandates to continue, then basically the question becomes, what kind of nation do we now have?” Landry said. “Can the federal government continue to mandate medical procedures on American citizens against their will? And where do we draw the line on that?”
One mandate was announced by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). It forces every business with 100 or more employees to obtain proof of COVID-19 vaccination from each worker or make them get a COVID-19 test on a regular basis, at least weekly.
The other was announced by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. It forces every facility that receives Medicare or Medicaid funding to get vaccine verification from workers and fines those that retain workers who do not provide proof of vaccination. There’s no testing opt out.
The Biden administration has argued that the rise in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks enables it to bypass normal rulemaking guidelines, that the mandates will save thousands of lives each month, and that Congress gave the health secretary and OSHA the authority to enact mandates, even though mandates are not mentioned in either of the laws cited.
“The vaccine requirement falls squarely within the plain text of the secretary’s statutory authority and complies with all procedural requirements,” administration lawyers told the Supreme Court in a brief this week.
Landry says both mandates would lead to “absolutely significant” job losses and worries about healthcare worker shortages. Healthcare entities and associations told the courts in an affidavit in one of the cases that there are already open and unfilled positions, and allowing the mandate to stay in place would lead to more workers leaving.
The court could decide to keep one of the mandates in place and block the other, but Landry believes it will either block both or let both stand.
“I don’t know how the court could uphold one and strike the other down,” he said. “I would presume that both of the cases are going to the outcome will be the same.”
Whether the court enters preliminary injunctions against the mandates or not, the cases against them will proceed in lower courts.
Roman Balmakov and Matthew Vadum contributed to this report.
From The Epoch Times