The Trump Supreme Court finally worked exactly the way it was designed to work on Thursday, when it struck a massive blow for freedom in ordering a stay on Joe Biden’s handlers’ authoritarian and destructive vaccine mandate for private employers with more than 100 employees. The Court, again oddly inconsistent as it has often been since Trump appointees Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett took their seats, at the same time upheld the mandate for health care workers. Still, the high court’s refusal to rubber-stamp Biden’s mandate for employers is yet another failure for this disastrous administration, and a major victory for the defenders of individual freedom who have been fighting the mandates from the beginning.
The private employer mandate, which was imposed through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), was rejected on a 6-3 vote, with Trump’s three new justices forming the margin of victory. The Court’s order stated with admirable common sense and restraint that “although COVID-19 is a risk that occurs in many workplaces, it is not an OCCUPATIONAL hazard in most. COVID-19 can and does spread at home, in schools, during sporting events, and everywhere else that people gather. That kind of universal risk is no different from the day-to-day dangers that all face from crime, air pollution, or any number of communicable diseases. Permitting OSHA to regulate the hazards of daily life – simply because most Americans have jobs and face those same risks while on the clock – would significantly expand OSHA’s regulatory authority without clear congressional authorization.”
That is absolutely true, and is a refreshing departure from the seemingly inexorable advance of government power over the lives of Americans. It is a sharp rebuke to the nanny state mentality that has been dominant far too long, and that looks to government to take care of all our needs and wants, and to protect us from all dangers.
The order adds: “Although Congress has indisputably given OSHA the power to regulate occupational dangers, it has not given that agency the power to regulate public health more broadly. Requiring the vaccination of 84 million Americans, selected simply because they work for employers with more than 100 employees, certainly falls in the latter category.”
Justice Gorsuch added more regarding the restriction of the powers of government agencies: “The central question we face today is: Who decides? No one doubts that the COVID–19 pandemic has posed challenges for every American. Or that our state, local, and national governments all have roles to play in combating the disease. The only question is whether an administrative agency in Washington, one charged with overseeing workplace safety, may mandate the vaccination or regular testing of 84 million people. Or whether, as 27 States before us submit, that work belongs to state and local governments across the country and the people’s elected representatives in Congress. This Court is not a public health authority. But it is charged with resolving disputes about which authorities possess the power to make the laws that govern us under the Constitution and the laws of the land.”
Gorsuch added: “The federal government’s powers, however, are not general but limited and divided. See McCulloch v. Maryland, 4 Wheat. 316, 405 (1819). Not only must the federal government properly invoke a constitutionally enumerated source of authority to regulate in this area or any other. It must also act consistently with the Constitution’s separation of powers. And when it comes to that obligation, this Court has established at least one firm rule: ‘We expect Congress to speak clearly’ if it wishes to assign to an executive agency decisions ‘of vast economic and political significance.’”
Imagine: in 2021, the Supreme Court actually noting that a government agency had exceeded the scope of its responsibilities. It’s practically unheard-of since the days of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, when the leviathan federal government began its out-of-control growth, but here it is.
Jeremy Boreing says in the Daily Wire that “today is a day of celebration,” and it certainly is. We have Donald J. Trump to thank for it. However, the struggle to defend our Constitutional rights is not even close to over. This is such a lawless administration that it may ignore the Court’s ruling and call upon employers to enforce the vaccine mandate anyway, and could even provide various carrots and sticks to compel them to do so. Nevertheless, if Biden’s handlers defy the Court, they’re likely to drive Old Joe’s approval ratings even lower than they are now, and further delegitimize this administration in the eyes of American citizens. Would they risk a thing? Probably.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 23 books including many bestsellers, such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), The Truth About Muhammad and The History of Jihad. His latest book is The Critical Qur’an. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.