Former Vice President Mike Pence is taking the side of Americans fighting back against the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate.
The Supreme Court last month said it would hear arguments on Friday about the vaccine mandate that targets large employers and a companion piece of the Biden administration’s vaccine plan that requires some health care workers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to The New York Times.
On Monday, Pence announced that his advocacy group, Advancing American Freedom, has filed an amicus brief opposing the mandate targeting large employers.
“America is about freedom and the ability to make the best decision for your family or business, and [President] 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,” Pence said in a statement, according to The Hill.
The brief argues that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration exceeded its authority when it imposed the mandate through an emergency rule.
“Through the separation of powers, the Framers of our Constitution placed boundaries and limitations on the ability of the Executive Branch unilaterally to impose mandates on American citizens, and to erect barriers to work, that are far outside the contemplation or authorization of the peoples’ elected representatives in Congress. OSHA’s ETS entirely ignores those limitations,” the brief said.
“This Court must act now to prevent the irreparable harm to Americans, to jobs, and to constitutional governance that will be done if OSHA’s mandate is permitted to take effect,” the Pence group said in its filing.
Precedent calls for the mandate to be rejected, the brief argues.
The brief said that, in the past, courts looking at rules imposed by invoking what is called an emergency temporary standard “have rightly regarded attempts by OSHA to invoke its emergency authorities as a means to shortcut normal rulemaking requirements with deep suspicion, and have robustly policed the limitations on those powers that were established by Congress.”
The brief said past OSHA efforts to use the emergency process were limited to workplace dangers, and did not force them to receive medical treatment for non-work-related issues.
The brief said that “OSHA’s thin justification for invocation of its extraordinary emergency authorities” is nothing more than a pretext.
“[T]he Biden Administration is not truly seeking to mitigate workplace hazards through the ETS, but rather is attempting to use OSHA to accomplish an end that it has been unable to persuade Congress to support: the mandatory vaccination of the American public,” the brief said.
The Biden administration has had a mixed record in court on the mandate. It was originally shot down by the Fifth Circuit, then upheld by the Sixth Circuit before making its way to the Supreme Court.
The rule, which at one point had been scheduled to take effect Tuesday, is now poised to take effect Feb. 9 unless the Supreme Court blocks it, according to the Washington Times.
Pence had made his disapproval of the vaccine mandate clear in September, when he responded to Biden’s call for vaccine mandates, saying the move was “unlike anything I have ever heard from an American president,” according to The Hill.
“To have the president of the United States say that he’s been patient, but his patience is wearing thin, that’s not how the American people expect to be spoken to by our elected leaders,” Pence said.
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