The Supreme Court of the United States, in a moment of supreme lucidity, rejected Presidential attempt by Joe Biden to use a federal agency to bend private companies to his executive will – that is, to use the OSHA as enforcer of COVID-19 vaccine mandate for millions of privately employed Americans.
The decision, shocked by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is cause for celebration.
But the rest of the Supreme Court rulings left plenty of room for leftist tyrants to continue their tyrannical COVID-19-related claws on individual liberties. And this is the cause of an alarm signal and a reawakening of patriots for more, bigger and more intense cultural and legal combats.
That only six of the nine justices saw the utter error of Team Biden’s pro-vaccine mandate arguments is uncomfortable enough. How the three who agreed with the government – Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer – arrived at their judicial logic to consider these mandates on private employers and employees as A-OK is a feat of mental gymnastics of proportions magnificent. But worse than the fact that a freedom that just a few years ago was considered so sacrosanct that it couldn’t even be debated has been only a few voices away from disintegrating, that’s another fact of that SCOTUS hearing: five judges have seen fit to impose vaccination mandates on healthcare workers, on the pretext that it’s appropriate for the federal government to tie the strings in the disbursement of the money of the taxpayers. On this line of logic, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh agreed with the three on the left, Kagan, Breyer and Sotomayor, and said, in their view: “Congress authorized the Secretary [of Health and Human Services] promulgate, as a condition of an institution’s participation in [Medicare and Medicaid] programs, these “requirements [that are] necessary in the interests of the health and safety of persons receiving services in the facility. Building on these authorities, the secretary has drawn up long lists of detailed requirements that facilities must meet in order to receive Medicare and Medicaid funds. These conditions have long included the requirement that certain providers maintain and enforce an “infection prevention and control program.”
This is a role delegated by Congress from the Secretary of HHS. But a permanent vaccine is not the same as a pair of rubber gloves.
Furthermore, it is also the role of the Supreme Court of the United States to refer to the Constitution as a guide. And in that hearing, the justices did not issue rulings on these two separate cases that were based on the Constitution’s limited governmental theme — or even consistent with each other. They got squishy; they have become soft.
If the Constitution had been the judges’ only guide, the same six who voted against the mandate to vaccinate private employers – that is, private citizens – would have voted against the mandate to vaccinate health care workers, also private citizens. It is the decision that recognizes the rights given by God to the individual; it is the determination that takes into consideration the limited governmental aspect of the Constitution that the Founding Fathers envisioned and provided.
Splitting hairs on the gift of God induces a logic that recognizes individual rights for some, but not for others.
If the standard of God’s gift becomes dependent on the consideration of taxpayer dollars – if God-given rights are watered, and allowed to be watered, at the drop of a federal funding cap – then all American systems become vulnerable to government excesses.
Public K-12 schools receive federal funding.
American higher education institutions receive federal funding.
Federal contractors — private workers who nonetheless do business with the government — receive federal funding.
Transportation systems receive federal funding.
Did the Supreme Court just open the door for the Biden administration to fight their way to a federally imposed mandate after all? It would seem so.
“I am disappointed with the court’s decision, which is a major setback for the health and safety of workers across the country,” said Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, who oversees OSHA. “Regardless of the end result of these proceedings, OSHA will do everything in its power to hold companies accountable for protecting workers.”
It sounds mildly threatening, especially when put in the context of other remarks by this administration, after the SCOTUS decision.
“I would note that there are some good signs…despite the ruling that we would like to highlight,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in response to the SCOTUS rulings. “The first is that 57%, according to a Navigator poll, of Americans support vaccine requirements.”
She also said the White House would continue to pressure companies to act on their own to enforce vaccination mandates.
Biden, meanwhile, said this: “I am disappointed that the Supreme Court chose to block vital common sense requirements for employees of large corporations that were squarely based on both science and law. … It is now up to states and individual employers to determine whether they should make their workplaces as safe as possible for employees and whether their businesses will be safe for consumers during this pandemic by requiring employees to take the simple and efficient to get vaccinated. ”
In other words: this White House just spent its entire administration pushing for vaccine mandates, and damn it, a vaccine mandate this White House will get – by hook, by crook, by pressure on states and businesses, by exploiting loopholes left by the constitutionally contrary Supreme Court rulings. By any means necessary.
In America, the rights of the individual are either inherent, granted by birth, granted by the Creator, or they are not.
In both of those cases, the judges basically said they weren’t.
They have left the door wide open for those in big government to continue pretending they are not.
A battle over vaccine mandates may have been won.
But the war against individualism and God-given freedoms is far from over. And it’s the fight that counts because it’s from this foundation that spring all the rights of citizens — yes, all of them.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to his “Bold and Blunt” podcast by clicking HERE. And never miss his column; subscribe to his newsletter by clicking HERE. His latest book, “Socialists Are Not Sleeping: Christians Must Rise or America Will Fall,” is available by clicking HERE.
For more information, visit the Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.