Republicans are hailing the Supreme Court decision to block President Joe Biden's vaccine mandate for large businesses, which he'd sought to enforce through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
"OSHA has never before imposed such a mandate – nor has Congress," conservative justices comprising the high court's majority wrote in an unsigned ruling Thursday. "Indeed, although Congress has enacted significant legislation addressing the COVID–19 pandemic, it has declined to enact any measure similar to what OSHA has promulgated here."
Three liberal-leaning justices, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, wrote a joint dissent, arguing it was the court that was overreaching by substituting its judgment for that of health experts.
"Acting outside of its competence and without legal basis, the court displaces the judgments of the government officials given the responsibility to respond to workplace health emergencies," they wrote.
The House Republicans Twitter account called it a "massive win for the American people."
"RT to agree → The Supreme Court BLOCKING Biden's authoritarian and unconstitutional COVID-19 vaccine mandate is a MASSIVE WIN for the American people.
The House Judiciary GOP tweeted just one word: "VICTORY."
While Democrats might claim a 6-3 conservative edge in the Supreme Court was biased, Texas GOP AG Ken Paxton noted his state's lawsuit got the same result in the 5th Circuit, tweeting:
"SCOTUS VICTORY! Private employers are now free from an illegal, unconstitutional OSHA vax mandate. Very happy to see the mandate blocked again after we got the same win in the 5th Circuit last month."
Rep. Fred Keller, R-Pa., vowed to pick up the fight in the lower courts, writing in a statement to Newsmax:
"The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 to stop President Biden from implementing his authoritarian vaccine mandate on American workers. This is the outcome we expected — with the Court asserting that President Biden lacks the constitutional authority to unilaterally dictate federal law.
While the case now returns to the lower courts, I will continue my efforts to permanently eliminate this unconstitutional mandate under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). Our CRA resolution has the unanimous support of the entire House Republican Conference, and our team has held productive conversations with House Democrats who recognize how disastrous President Biden's mandate would be if enacted.
"I am hopeful that this ruling will inspire more House Democrats to join us to force a vote on the Floor and eliminate this egregious mandate once and for all."
Former Vice President Mike Pence said "freedom won," tweeting:
"Earlier this month, @AmericanFreedom filed an amicus brief asking SCOTUS to block Joe Biden's unconstitutional vaccine mandate. Today, Freedom WON and SCOTUS blocked the mandate."
Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, tweeted a rebuke of the Supreme Court declining to knock down the Biden vaccine mandate on healthcare workers:
"BREAKING: The Supreme Court BLOCKS Joe Biden's unconstitutional vaccine mandate on businesses. But it upheld his vaccine mandate on healthcare workers. We can't stop fighting until the ENTIRE vaccine mandate is thrown into the garbage heap of history where it belongs."
Missouri GOP Attorney General Eric Schmitt tweeted:
"BREAKING: SCOTUS just HALTED the OSHA private employer vaccine mandate, a huge win for Missourians and Americans. Missouri was the first state to file suit against the OSHA vaccine mandate."
Florida GOP AG Ashley Moody tweeted:
"Extremely happy #SCOTUS ruled in our favor and stayed the offensive and overreaching @JoeBiden OSHA vaccine mandate."
Alfredo Ortiz, president and CEO of Job Creators Network (JCN), issued this statement on Thursday afternoon:
"The Supreme Court has stood up for small businesses by staying this illegal employer vaccine mandate. The court has confirmed what JCN has long argued: OSHA does not have the authority to implement this sweeping regulation that will burden American businesses, including many small businesses, with new costs and exacerbate the historic labor shortage. By Issuing this stay, the Supreme Court has freed small businesses to focus on bringing the economy back to its pre-pandemic peak."
Karen Harned, executive director of National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Small Business Legal Center, also weighed in:
“Today’s decision is welcome relief for America’s small businesses, who are still trying to get their business back on track since the beginning of the pandemic. As small businesses try to recover after almost two years of significant business disruptions, the last thing they need is a mandate that would cause more business challenges. We are pleased the Supreme Court stopped the rule from taking effect while the courts consider whether or not it is legal. We are optimistic that the courts will ultimately agree with us that OSHA does not have the emergency authority to regulate the entire American workforce.”
Finally, Carrie Severino, president of Judicial Crisis Network, offered this:
“The Court today was correct to strike down OSHA's power grab, which as Ron Klain recognized via his RT, was ‘the ultimate work-around’ for the federal government to require vaccinations en masse. The Court found that OSHA's emergency temporary standard ("ETS")—which required companies with 100 or more employees to require workers to be vaccinated or wear a mask and submit to weekly tests—was neither a workplace regulation nor an emergency. The Court's 6-3 per curium opinion rightly observed that OSHA's ETS was no ‘everyday exercise of federal power’ and there was not a justifiable ground for OSHA to bypass the normal rulemaking procedure. The majority noted, ‘It is telling that OSHA, in its half century of existence, has never before adopted a broad public health regulation of this kind—addressing a threat that is untethered, in any causal sense, from the workplace.’ It was disappointing to see Justice Kavanaugh join the Court's majority opinion upholding the CMS mandate. As Justice Thomas explained in his dissent, joined by Justices Gorsuch, Alito and Barrett: ‘Had Congress wanted to grant CMS power to impose a vaccine mandate across all facility types, it would have done what it has done elsewhere—specifically authorize one.’ We're now seeing a pattern of regulatory overreach from the Biden Administration. Last year the Court described the CDC’s stretching of the Public Health Service Act to enact its eviction moratorium ‘unprecedented’ and ‘a wafer-thin reed on which to rest such sweeping power.’ It is worth noting that critics outraged over the Court's emergency docket procedure earlier this fall have little to complain about in that regard, as the cases were given full briefing and oral argument.”
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