- Top Republicans praised the Court’s decision to block Biden’s vaccine-or-testing mandate for large private businesses.
- “Biden’s disastrous mandates are unconstitutional,” Trump said.
- The court’s conservative majority found the administration doesn’t have congressional authorization to impose the policy.
Former President Donald Trump and several Republican lawmakers on Thursday celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision to block the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine-or-testing mandate for large private companies.
“The Supreme Court has spoken, confirming what we all knew: Biden’s disastrous mandates are unconstitutional,” Trump said in a statement shortly after the court handed down its ruling.
He went on, “Biden promised to shut down the virus, not the economy but he has failed miserably on both—and mandates would have further destroyed the economy. We are proud of the Supreme Court for not backing down. No mandates!”
Republican Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana, who led a recent effort in the Senate to overturn the administration’s private business mandate, told Insider at the Capitol on Thursday that he was “jumping up and down” as a result of the court’s decision.
“That’s a great result. I was hoping for it, I wish it hadn’t taken this long to come down,” said Braun. “That’s great news.”
Braun also referenced recent comments by Dr. Anthony Fauci, Biden’s chief medical advisor and the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, who said that the Omicron variant “will ultimately find just about everybody.”
“We can’t keep drowning in anxiety and disrupting the economy,” said Braun. “Maybe we need to find another approach.”
President Joe Biden’s vaccine rule would have required private companies with over 100 employees to have their workers vaccinated against COVID-19 or tested weekly. The policy would have covered more than 80 million workers, but included exemptions for people with religious objections and for those who don’t work closely with others, such as individuals working from home. The administration estimated that if implemented, the mandate would have prevented 250,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations and saved over 6,500 lives in the next six months.
But Republican states and businesses immediately challenged the mandate, claiming it amounts to government overreach.
In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority found that Congress hasn’t given the Biden administration the “power to regulate public health more broadly.” The court’s liberals dissented.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Thursday slammed Biden’s vaccine mandate as “an unlawful power grab.”
The court’s ruling “is a welcomed rejection of an arbitrary, aggressive, and authoritarian government,” McCarthy wrote in a joint statement with top Republicans Reps. Steve Scalise and Elise Stefanik.
Still, the nation’s highest court on Thursday allowed a separate Biden administration COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers at federally funded facilities to take effect nationwide.
McCarthy denounced that decision and tweeted that Republicans will “continue to fight for our health care workers who’ve been on the front lines against COVID.”
In a statement on Thursday, Biden welcomed the Supreme Court upholding his administration’s mandate for healthcare workers, but said he was “disappointed” with its ruling on the workplace requirement.
The president then urged states and employers to consider requiring their workers to get vaccinated.
“The Court has ruled that my administration cannot use the authority granted to it by Congress to require this measure, but that does not stop me from using my voice as president to advocate for employers to do the right thing to protect Americans’ health and economy,” Biden said.