The Supreme Court sat for nearly four hours of oral arguments last week in the case that will determine the constitutionality of Biden’s COVID-19 OSHA vaccine regulations. The pair of mandates would require vaccine and testing rules for businesses with 100 employees or more, and on vaccine mandates for health care workers at facilities receiving Medicaid and Medicare funding. At the end of the day the court appeared to be split ideologically, with the conservatives on the court suggesting that government officials had overstepped their authority.
Former Biden COVID adviser Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, who signed onto an amicus brief saying the mandates are “vital” to the health of the country, implored the Supreme Court to “recognize” the importance of allowing Biden’s plans to proceed.
“The Supreme Court has to recognize that COVID in the workplace is a real health threat and really does affect many people and unfortunately many frontline workers have died from COVID and contracting COVID in the workplace,” Emanuel said on Sunday’s “Meet the Press.” “They need protection and getting – mandating – vaccination is a quite reasonable protection.”
Emanuel said America will “never” get to majority vaccinations without the mandates.
“And for the Supreme Court to take that away in the midst of an emergency seems to me to be very wrong,” he concluded.
Emanuel emphasized his points on MSNBC’s “Stephanie Ruhle Reports” Monday, arguing the justices should not take away those “tools” to get Americans out of the pandemic.
“We do need these mandates,” he told Ruhle.
“For the Supreme Court to take it away from the government, from OSHA, would be terrible,” he later added. “It would be a real blow to the effective fight against this pandemic.”
The Nation’s far-left correspondent Elie Mystal also championed Biden’s mandates while accusing the court of hypocrisy.
“Friday the Supreme Court stood in hypocrisy, poised to deny Americans the Covid safety the justices themselves enjoy,” Mystal tweeted. “Not ’cause they’re anti-vax, but because they’re anti-labor. This is what happens when you let the GOP run things.”
“While the conservative justices are willing to protect themselves from getting sick at work, however, they’re unwilling to extend those protections to the American worker,” he charged in his piece.
Mystal fleshed out his belief the court’s conservatives were anti-labor, writing, “They do not believe in raising the costs to business owners for such pedestrian reasons as workplace safety.”
Mystal linked out to a similar piece in Slate, where the authors argued that while “the liberal justices see sickness and death, the conservatives see a chance to crush government.” The court’s majority is using this moment to “grind down the federal government’s ability to perform even its most basic functions as well,” Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern wrote.
“The nihilism, hypocrisy, and armchair epidemiology on display at times bled into rank anti-vax-ism,” they continued. “The conservative supermajority did not bother to conceal its contempt for the Biden administration’s effort to root new policies in old statutes.”
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra perhaps sounded the loudest alarm after he told CNN that “people will die” if the Supreme Court does away with Biden’s vaccine mandates.
“That will be on their conscience,” Becerra said of the Supreme Court.
Center for American Liberty CEO and civil rights attorney Harmeet Dhillon predicted a “split ruling” in the vaccine mandates case. But if the court does strike down both mandates, she foresaw an ongoing battle.
“There will be many states, probably New York, California and other states, that decide it’s within their power to order this type of thing, and we will have a fresh round of litigation over it,” Dhillon said.
Fox News’s Brooke Singman and Bill Mears contributed to this report.