SCOTUS on mandates

Supreme Court blocks nationwide vaccine and testing mandate for large businesses, allows health care worker vaccine mandate to take effect
www.cnn.com/2022/01/13/politics/supreme-court-vaccine-mandat…

“The challenges posed by a global pandemic do not allow a federal agency to exercise power that Congress has not conferred upon it. At the same time, such unprecedented circumstances proved no grounds for limiting the exercise of authorities the agency has long been recognized to have.”

DB2

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“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,”

That is easy to fix: mandate vaccinations for all employees, even the half dozen hired hands on a farm in Iowa.

Steve

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“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,”

That is easy to fix: mandate vaccinations for all employees, even the half dozen hired hands on a farm in Iowa.

How does that address the Constitutional issues?

DB2

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How does that address the Constitutional issues?

Because Congress gave OSHA authority to regulate workplace safety, like not being exposed to the plague at work.

Don’t want to be vaxxed? Don’t work. A “public health” measure would require everyone to be vaxxed, whether they worked or not.

Steve

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Because Congress gave OSHA authority to regulate workplace safety, like not being exposed to the plague at work.

More states in the US might encourage vaccination if Congress just restricted disbursement of the “Infrastructure Bill” funds to only those states with vaccine mandates. Sick employees have a hard time building roads and bridges.

Decades ago, receipt of highway funds was conditioned upon state passage of a 55 MPH speed limit, saving many thousands of lives over time.

Carrots can work as well as sticks.

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More states in the US might encourage vaccination if Congress just restricted disbursement of the “Infrastructure Bill” funds to only those states with vaccine mandates.

As you said. when the national 55mph speed limit was imposed in 1974, it came with the whip of denial of Federal road funding to any state that did not comply. Nevada was the only state that decided “freeedom” was worth more than free money from the government, and did without the loot.

I can think of plenty of Federal control levers available now. Federal plague assistance, Federal funding for local police, Federal funding for “urban renewal”.

The chart at this link shows, less the amount for Medicaid, over $300B going to state and local governments per year. I can remember a time when cutting off that much Federal spending would put the budget into surplus.

Federal Grants to State and Local Governments

https://www.gao.gov/federal-grants-state-and-local-governmen…

Sick employees have a hard time building roads and bridges.

“Cities are made of bricks. The strong make many. The weak make few. The dead make none” Charlton Heston in “The Ten Commandments”.

Steve

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From the OP article: “These cases were not referenda on vaccine mandates – which can still come from states, local governments, and private businesses – they were referenda on whether these kinds of expert policy decisions are better made by agency experts accountable to the President or by judges accountable to no one.”

SCOTUS is looking for literal specific instructions from Congress on how to stop the pandemic. The SCOTUS decision leaves a gaping hole in the US’s defense against disease. SCOTUS has ruled that Congress has not given OSHA the power to protect public health. SCOTUS has also ruled that the CDC can only do what Congress has “specifically authorized”. Congress has not authorized vaccine mandates. Congress should act to add vaccine mandates to the CDC powers.

Congress has approved detaining people if doing so helps prevent the spread of disease. The easier path is to get enough people vaccinated to get the R(t) below 1 which results in the disease disappearing. The hard path that the US is on is letting the disease hang around and mutate, possibly leading to the need for harsher lockdowns later. Lockdowns like March 2020 have a dramatic effect on the macro economy, as does an uncontrolled pandemic. Only 24% of the US population has gotten the booster shot needed to prevent Omicron infection. We know how to stop this disease but are not doing enough.

---- links ----
“It would be one thing if Congress had specifically authorized the action that the CDC has taken. But that has not happened… For purposes of carrying out and enforcing such regulations, the Surgeon General may provide for such inspection, fumigation, disinfection, sanitation, pest extermination, destruction of animals or articles found to be so infected or contaminated as to be sources of dangerous infection to human beings, and other measures, as in his judgment may be necessary.” https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/20pdf/21a23_ap6c.pdf

42 U.S. Code Part G - Quarantine and Inspection
“Regulations prescribed under this section shall not provide for the apprehension, detention, or conditional release of individuals except for the purpose of preventing the introduction, transmission, or spread of such communicable diseases as may be specified from time to time in Executive orders of the President”
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/42/chapter-6A/subcha…

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