The Supreme Court seems like it is poised to rule against Joe Biden’s vaccine or testing requirement aimed at large businesses.
Given the tenor of the questions posed by the majority conservative Court, it appears that the OSHA mandates requiring vaccines or tests for firms with a hundred or more employees are destined to be overruled.
The Court heard arguments for almost four hours last week as the number of infections is soaring, and 40 million adults in the US are still declining to get vaccinated.
The three liberal justices on the Court expressed clear approval for the administration’s rules in both areas.
But it was the conservative Justices’ questions that suggested that the OSHA mandate, which would apply to about eighty million people, has little chance of going into effect in its present form.
I’m not saying the vaccines are unsafe,” Justice Samuel Alito said during oral arguments in the case of the National Federation of Independent Businesses v. the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which involves OSHA’s test-or-vaccine mandate. He knew that the FDA had approved the vaccines, he said. “I’m not contesting that in any way. I don’t want to be misunderstood. I’m sure I will be misunderstood,” he added. In that statement and other questions, it was hard to miss Justice Alito’s disdain for the mandate. The tone and content of the questions asked by other Justices—notably Chief Justice John Roberts—similarly suggested that the mandate is all but doomed.
However, the prospects look better for a second mandate, which applies only to workers in healthcare facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid funds and would affect about ten million people.
The rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration — an agency that falls under the US Labor Department and is charged with assuring a safe workplace — requires employers with 100 or more employees to ensure that their employees are fully vaccinated or undergo regular testing and wear a face covering at work. There are exceptions for those with religious objections.
Liberal Justice’s Number’s Were Way Off
Meanwhile, the head of CDC was forced to clarify a gross misstatement of the facts made by Justice Sonia Sotomayor regarding the number of children hospitalized with COVID.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky clarified that the number of children hospitalized with COVID-19 is nowhere close to the statistic put forth by Sotomayor Friday while noting that Americans can still work to reduce hospitalization by getting vaccinated.
Speaking with “Fox News Sunday,” Walensky provided an update on the current numbers, confirming to host Bret Baier that there are fewer than 3,500 children in hospitals with COVID-19.
During oral arguments in the case, Sotomayor brought up children suffering during the pandemic, pulling out a number that earned her four “Pinocchios” from the Washington Post’s fact-checker.
“We have over 100,000 children, which we’ve never had before, in serious condition and many on ventilators,” Sotomayor said. That figure is more than 96.5% higher than the number of children actually hospitalized with COVID-19, according to Walensky.
A ruling on the status of the mandates is expected to come very soon.