By Katie Pavlich, opinion contributor — 12/08/21 07:20 AM EST 503 The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Hill 514 Share to Facebook Share to Twitter
On Sept. 9, 2021, as the catastrophic exit from Afghanistan continued to get worse by the hour, President Biden scheduled remarks from the White House.
“The expansive rules mandate that all employers with more than 100 workers require them to be vaccinated or test for the virus weekly, affecting about 80 million Americans. And the roughly 17 million workers at health facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid also will have to be fully vaccinated,” the Associated Press reported at the time, noting that the Occupational Safety and Health Adminstration (OSHA) was tasked with enforcement. “Biden is also signing an executive order to require vaccination for employees of the executive branch and contractors who do business with the federal government — with no option to test out. That covers several million more workers.”
At the time of Biden’s announcement, White House chief of staff Ron Klain acknowledged the use of OSHA was a way to “work around” current federal law, something a judge would later notice and use to halt parts of the mandate.
Shortly after Biden’s proclamation, a number of lawsuits were swiftly filed across the country by state attorneys general, private sector companies and federal contractors. While Biden and administration officials claimed they were confident in the legal standing of the mandates, they’ve been shot down repeatedly.
In November, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals instructed OSHA to halt the implementation and enforcement of the mandate. The Court cited Klain’s motives as evidence the administration was trying to get around the law to justify Biden’s overreaching executive order.
“On September 9, 2021, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain retweeted MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle’s tweet that stated, ‘OSHA doing this vcxx mandate as an emergency workplace safety rule is the ultimate work-around for the Federal govt to require vaccinations,” the ruling notes.
In Missouri, U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Schelp recently issued an injunction on Biden’s vaccine mandates for Medicare and Medicaid workers.
“The mandate requires nearly every employee, volunteer, and third-party contractor working at fifteen categories of healthcare facilities to be vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 (‘COVID’) and to have received at least a first dose of the vaccine prior to December 6, 2021,” court documents show. “Congress did not grant CMS authority to mandate the vaccine. Plaintiffs are likely to succeed in their argument that Congress has not provided CMS the authority to enact the regulation at issue here.”
One day later, Louisiana Western District U.S. Judge Terry Doughty issued a nationwide injunction for all health care workers.
“If the executive branch is allowed to usurp the power of the legislative branch to make laws, two of the three powers conferred by our Constitution would be in the same hands,” Doughty wrote. “If human nature and history teach anything, it is that civil liberties face grave risks when governments proclaim indefinite states of emergency.”