On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court appeared to hand the Biden administration a win regarding an executive order authorizing imposing vaccine mandates for federal employees, members of the military and employees of large businesses.
However, many allege the high court’s ruling does not indicate an endorsement of imposing vaccines but rather is a response to the Biden administration’s preemptive move to rescind the order, thus rendering existing legal cases moot.
The White House echoed Justice Department court documents in response to charges the Biden administration dodged a strong rebuke by the Supreme Court by rescinding the president’s unprecedented vaccine mandate executive order.
Notably, President Biden rescinded his vaccine mandate executive order in May, as the Supreme Court was considering taking up the case.
The Justice Department argued: “The President revoked EO 14,043 because of the waning of the pandemic, not any effort to evade judicial review or gain litigation advantage,”
The Supreme Court ruled active vaccine-related cases would be “rendered moot” because federally imposed mandates have been rescinded.
The decision prohibits individuals from seeking legal remedy regarding issues stemming from vaccine mandates.
The U.S. military was among the hardest sectors hit by the vaccine order. Religious objections, citing studies that showed minimal efficacy and potential harm, and arguing that members of the military were among the most healthy demographic in the nation and therefore were at low risk of serious injury, did little to keep soldiers from being dismissed, punished via reassignment, demoted or imprisoned.
In response to what was presented as multiple egregious civil rights violations, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit issued an injunction that prevented the Air Force from enforcing the Pentagon’s vaccine mandate.
Earlier this year, the newly elected Republican-led Congress passed legislation ordering Biden’s Defense Secretary to rescind vaccine mandates.
Amid complaints and the threat of a rebuke from the U.S. Supreme Court, the administration urged “justices to issue what is known as a Munsingwear vacatur, which sets aside a lower ruling in certain instances of mootness,” according to The Hill.
Those desiring in-processes to play out before the high court wrote: “[The Department of Justice is asking] this Court to endorse a ‘heads we win, tails you get vacated’ version of Munsingwear, where they can litigate to the hilt in both district and circuit court and — only if they lose — then decline to seek substantive review from this Court and instead moot the case and ask this Court to erase the circuit court loss from the books.”
Left-leaning Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson did not favor a Munsingwear vacatur, saying that though she “personally disagreed,” she would support the administration’s request.
“In my view, the party seeking vacatur has not established equitable entitlement to that remedy,” the justice wrote.
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