SCOTUS Blocks Biden's Jab Mandate - But Misses a Key Point

P. Gardner Goldsmith | January 14, 2022

The Supreme Court of the US (SCOTUS) broke along “conservative” and “leftist” lines Thursday, issuing a bifurcated decision temporarily blocking Joe Biden’s jab-or-test mandate on private businesses employing 100 or more people, and “allowing” the jab mandate (without any “test” option) on facilities tied to recipients of the collectivist Medicare and Medicaid programs.

In so doing, the majority issued an opinion (unsigned, so unattributable) temporarily blocking the Biden edict for private companies. But it is an opinion that reflects the troubling fact that even members of the so-called “conservative” majority haven’t the faintest clue that, like Joe Biden, Congress cannot simply create “powers” that don’t correspond to the enumerated “powers” created for it in the US Constitution.

As Kevin Breuninger and Spencer Kimball report for CNBC:

The rulings came three days after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s emergency measure started to take effect.

That mandate required that workers at businesses with 100 or more employees must get vaccinated or submit a negative Covid test weekly to enter the workplace. It also required unvaccinated workers to wear masks indoors at work.

And the CNBC writers offer a key portion of the conservative-majority-opinion (6-3) in Becerra v. Louisiana, the case concerning private employers:

’Although Congress has indisputably given OSHA the power to regulate occupational dangers, it has not given that agency the power to regulate public health more broadly,’ the court wrote in an unsigned opinion.

So, even though anyone who reads the Constitution can see what the Founders meant, even though James Madison himself said that the Commerce Clause – a misreading of which the Labor Department and OSHA stand like matchstick men on a house of cards – exists to let States as political bodies turn to Congress to resolve trade disputes, and it doesn’t grant the feds omnipotent power to tell private businesses how to operate, if only Congress had given OSHA more power in a statute, the “conservative majority” might not have a problem with this?

’Requiring the vaccination of 84 million Americans, selected simply because they work for employers with more than 100 employees, certainly falls in the latter category,’ the court wrote.

So, again, there is no principle involved here. It’s like the statements of fabulist Biden Solicitor General Elzabeth Prelogar, who, during oral arguments for this case last week, repeatedly claimed at the 1-hour, 30-minute point of the C-Span coverage (enjoy that interaction) that it was the responsibility of OSHA to decide for businesses what are best safety practices and “IMPOSE” them.

Related: SCOTUS Justices Make Baseless Claims About COVID, Jabs, and the Constitution | MRCTV

And the leftist minority walked along the same dark path as Prelogar, assuming that government can control private businesses:

Liberal Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissented, writing that the majority has usurped the power of Congress, the president and OSHA without legal basis.

‘In the face of a still-raging pandemic, this Court tells the agency charged with protecting worker safety that it may not do so in all the workplaces needed,’ they said in their dissent.

Evidently, in their wailing that the "Court" was "telling" OSHA how to operate, the leftists couldn't see their own ironically dark hypocrisy in not applying this aversion to command-and-control to OSHA lording it over INDIVIDUALS and voluntary contract.

Then there’s the Medicare-Medicaid (CMS) case (Biden v. Missouri) on which Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kavanaugh joined the leftists to maintain the Biden mandate:

In a separate, simultaneously released ruling on the administration’s vaccination rules for health-care workers, a 5-4 majority sided with the Biden administration.

’We agree with the Government that the [Health and Human Services] Secretary’s rule falls within the authorities that Congress has conferred upon him,’ said the majority, writing that the rule ‘fits neatly within the language of the statute.’

Which is a standard that, if maintained, could allow Congress to force anyone getting anything from the feds to have to conform to federal commands. Since the US operates at a net deficit, politicians could claim that we ALL are recipients of federal beneficence, and begin mandating more and more... It's nonsense, based on total, abject disregard for their Constitution.

And when it comes to the "dissent" on the CMS mandate, CNBC’s writers observe:

Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett dissented from that ruling.

‘I do not think that the Federal Government is likely to be able to show that Congress has authorized the unprecedented step of compelling over 10,000,000 healthcare workers to be vaccinated on pain of being fired,’ Alito wrote in his dissent.

It would be nice if Alito spoke up for the efforts of the people who wrote the rules for the government that pays his salary.

They never gave Congress the power to authorize it, regardless of what he thinks the likelihood of it might be.

That’s the point of having written rules that they swore to uphold. We were told that anything not granted as a power to the feds was not a power they could wield. The idea that it might be “unlikely” leaves the door open to the idea that they CAN, but that they probably won’t.

After this split of the two cases, can one not say that, despite the half-bright sky, there’s a problem here?

The feds in the Executive Branch and Congress, and their sycophantic allies, claim the power to control the sky itself.

Natural Law says otherwise.

Related: Even History Of OSHA Edicts Likely Won’t Support Biden’s Jab Mandate | MRCTV