The vaccine mandate from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is set to go before the Supreme Court on Jan. 7.
Lawmakers including Dan Crenshaw, Jim Jordan, and Burgess Owens among others, argue that OSHA’s rule “vests an agency with a breathtaking amount of authority that will have no functional limitation” overreaching the separation of powers granted to the government.
“That OSHA exceeded its authority in enacting the ETS (emergency temporary standard) Mandate is not a ‘particularly hard’ question,” the legal brief reads.
Moreover, congressional members—as representatives of the people of their States and districts—have an interest in the citizens they represent being able to craft local solutions to problems facing their States and districts. Federalism concerns should be addressed before requiring federally-imposed solutions. And this is especially true when the question at issue involves an area typically reserved to the States (such as vaccine mandates).
Congressional members have an interest in the powers they delegate to agencies not being abused—the legislative authority vested in the federal government belongs to Congress, not the Executive branch.
The letter also adds:
Jen Psaki will not comment on if the Biden administration will require vaccine mandates for domestic air travel. pic.twitter.com/cDrv0gy6KC— MRCTV (@mrctv) December 20, 2021
Vaccine mandates—a prototypical state police power—are not within the purview of the OSH Act (Occupational Safety and Health Act), let alone something on which Congress intended OSHA to take unilateral action under its ‘emergency’ powers.
A vaccine requirement is functionally an outside-the-workplace requirement that individuals take action to provide themselves with better individual outcomes when they do contract the virus. But that’s not OSHA’s job. It was never meant to be the health police, ‘protect[ing] unvaccinated working people from themselves based on highly personal medical decisions.’