Former VP Mike Pence asks Supreme Court to block Biden OSHA mandate

– The Washington Times – Monday, January 3, 2022

Brief from Advancing American Freedom says vaccine-or-test rule exceeds authority, breaks precedent

Former Vice President Mike Pence and his political advocacy group filed a brief Monday that asks the Supreme Court to block President Biden’s vaccine-or-test mandate on private businesses.

The amicus brief from Advancing American Freedom says the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is exceeding the authority granted to it by Congress and used an emergency temporary standard as a “shortcut” around the typical rulemaking process.

Mr. Pence also said the rule, which requires companies with 100 or more workers to figure out who is unvaccinated and test them weekly, will cause upheaval in the workplace.

“America is about freedom and the ability to make the best decision for your family or business, and Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate must be stopped in its tracks in order to preserve freedom, protect American livelihoods and businesses, and to safeguard our Constitution,” Mr. Pence said.

Mr. Pence also said the rule, which requires companies with 100 or more workers to figure out who is unvaccinated and test them weekly, will cause upheaval in the workplace.

“America is about freedom and the ability to make the best decision for your family or business, and Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate must be stopped in its tracks in order to preserve freedom, protect American livelihoods and businesses, and to safeguard our Constitution,” Mr. Pence said.

The amicus brief said the advocacy group took a look at past emergency actions by OSHA and found that none of them attempted to require or coerce employees “to undertake a medical procedure (a vaccination) that cannot be undone at the end of the workday.”

The White House counters that while vaccination would make workers’ lives easier under the rule, the new standard amounts to a weekly testing requirement and does not actually compel a person to get injected with the vaccine.

The Supreme Court is taking up Mr. Biden’s OSHA rule after a volley of decisions in the lower courts. One appeals court stayed the ruling for a period before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit lifted the stay, prompting the justices to take up the issue.

OSHA said because of the upheaval, it will not enforce the testing requirement on unvaccinated persons until Feb. 9. As initially drafted, the testing requirement would have gone into effect on Tuesday.

Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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