It’s finally about to happen: The U.S. Supreme Court is going to rule on the legality of President Joe Biden’s coronavirus vaccine mandates.
Fox News reports that the Supreme Court’s justices have agreed to hear two separate challenges to Biden’s vaccine mandates affecting private businesses.
The court order, which was issued on Wednesday, reads: “Consideration of the applications (21A244 and 21A247) for stay presented to Justice Kavanaugh and by him referred to the Court is deferred pending oral argument.”
The order continues: “The applications are consolidated, and a total of one hour is allotted for oral argument. The applications are set for oral argument on Friday, January 7, 2022.”
SCOTUS to weigh in on vaccine mandates
The mandate at issue is one announced by Biden in September. At the time, the president asked the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to implement the rule, which would require American businesses with more than 100 employees to force their workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19, or else undergo regular testing for the disease.
The rule is set to go into effect next month. Noncompliance will result in fines for the companies and, likely, termination for employees.
Republicans have led the way in challenging the mandate in the courts. At the federal level, the 5th Circuit had granted a stay preventing the mandate from going into effect while its legality is being litigated. But the 6th Circuit later overruled that stay, according to The Daily Wire.
Less talked about is Biden’s mandate for health care workers who work at facilities that receive Medicaid and Medicare funding. The Supreme Court, for its part, will hear arguments challenging both of these mandates.
“Human nature and history”
The big question, of course, is which way the Supreme Court will go on this one — and at the moment, there is no obvious answer.
Those challenging the mandates will argue that Biden exceeded his constitutionally-given authority. Among those taking this side is U.S. District Court Judge Terry Doughty, who writes:
If the executive branch is allowed to usurp the power of the legislative branch to make laws, two of the three powers conferred by our Constitution would be in the same hands.
“If human nature and history teach anything, it is that civil liberties face grave risks when governments proclaim indefinite states of emergency,” Doughty added, according to Fox.
The Biden administration, meanwhile, is likely to argue on the perceived effectiveness of the mandates. Either way, the matter is soon to come before the SCOTUS — and the justices’ final ruling could amount to one of the most consequential decisions of our lifetimes.