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Next month, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear legal challenges to the Biden administration's employer vaccine mandates. The Court will hear oral arguments in both cases on Jan. 7, 2022.
Matt Clark is the President of the Alabama Center for Law and Liberty (ACLL).
"Both of them are vaccine-mandate cases," Clark told 1819 News. "One of them is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) vaccine mandate, and the other is the mandate regarding Medicare and Medicaid."
The OSHA mandate states that all employers with 100 or more employees must require their employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Those that do not require employees to be vaccinated face crippling OSHA fines.
The two OSHA cases are the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) et al. versus the Department of Labor, OSHA, et al. and Ohio et al. versus the Department of Labor, OSHA, et al. Those two cases are consolidated into one challenge for the Court to hear.
"I'm in on the OSHA case," said Clark. "About 14 of us asked the Supreme Court for a stay, and the Court set those applications for oral argument. One of them is the NFIB case, and the other is the one brought by a bunch of Republican AG's. By selecting those two, it appears that the Court wants to focus on the impact on businesses and federalism. I would be very surprised if the Court does not step in and stay the OSHA vaccine mandate."
The other case to be heard by the Court is Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services et al. versus Louisiana et al. That case is combined with Biden, President of the United States, et al. versus Missouri et al. That case deals with the demands by the Biden administration that every medical provider who receives Medicare or Medicaid payments require that all of their employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
"I haven't studied the Medicare/Medicaid cases, so I can't comment intelligently on that," Clark said. "All I know is that the Biden administration lost in the lower courts and are asking the Supreme Court to step in. It looks like the Court wants to consider both the OSHA mandate and the medical mandate at once by setting them for oral arguments on the same day."
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall has vigorously opposed the Biden Administration's vaccine mandates, arguing that they trample on the rights of the individual and the states.
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people," said Marshall.
Marshall argues that the implementation of vaccine mandates without a vote of either Congress or a state legislature exceeds the authority of the President.
Marshall updated the people of Alabama in a statement on Tuesday, just before the Court announced it would hear oral arguments on the states' requests to stay the mandates.
"On Friday evening, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reinstated Biden's private-employer vaccine mandate," Marshall said in the statement. "Within hours of that decision, the State of Alabama—along with dozens of other state and private parties—filed an emergency application with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the Court to immediately halt the mandate until the Court fully hears the case and issues a final ruling.
"At the same time, the U.S. Department of Justice has asked the Supreme Court to take up the healthcare-worker vaccine mandate. Previously, as announced on November 30, the State of Alabama was successful in winning a nationwide injunction against the mandate from a federal district court, which was upheld as to the plaintiff states by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit."
Marshall said he is optimistic that the Supreme Court will rule the mandates are unconstitutional.
"My office recognizes and fully appreciates the real-life challenges that employees and employers alike are experiencing given the shifting circumstances surrounding these mandates," said Marshall. "Rest assured that my team and I will not let up until a full and final victory is secured against them for the people of Alabama."
Tens of thousands of Alabama workers are affected by vaccine mandates. Many citizens have deeply held objections to taking the vaccine, saying that it was rushed into production just months after the COVID-19 global pandemic began. Others cite religious or medical reasons they should be exempted from the shot.