Justice Kavanaugh sets deadline for Biden to respond to challenges against OSHA and HHS vaccine mandates

Two of President Joe Biden’s federal vaccine mandates will soon be argued in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, thanks in part to Suprem Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Justice Kavanaugh, on Monday, set a deadline of Dec. 30 for the Biden administration to submit briefs in response to multiple challenges posed against the vaccine-or-test mandate imposed on private businesses with more than 100 employees, Fox Business reported.

Those multiple cases had previously been consolidated together in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which had reversed a nationwide preliminary injunction against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) “emergency” rule — which was set to take effect in January — by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

At issue for the Supreme Court right now is whether or not to reinstate that preliminary injunction on the OSHA rule while the merits of the case continue to be argued in the lower courts.

Oral arguments set

SCOTUSblog reported Wednesday that SCOTUS issued a brief order noting that Justice Kavanaugh had referred to the court two challenges against the OSHA rule, one from a coalition of business and trade associations and religious groups along with a second from a coalition of Republican-led states.

That order further consolidated those two challenges together and set one hour for oral arguments on the matter that was scheduled for Jan. 7.

At the same time, the high court also moved to address the Biden administration’s challenges against multiple challenges posed against a vaccine mandate for all healthcare workers at facilities that receive federal funding through Medicare or Medicaid that had been imposed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and had been blocked by an injunction in about half of the nation’s states.

Similar to the first order, albeit including both Justices Kavanaugh and Samuel Alito, the second order also consolidated the multiple challenges from Republican-led states and similarly set one hour for oral arguments on Jan. 7.

Consequential decisions

It should be noted that Justice Kavanaugh holds jurisdiction over emergency requests coming out of the Sixth Circuit while Justice Alito oversees the same with respect to the Fifth Circuit — both of which had blocked the HHS mandate in separate cases that, altogether, included around half of the states in the country.

It must also be pointed out that, just like with the OSHA mandate, the current matter involving the HHS mandate will look only at whether the mandate should be enjoined or permitted to go into effect while the merits of the case are further argued in the lower courts.

Should the Supreme Court decide that the two rules can be allowed to go into effect, millions of Americans will be almost immediately impacted, and it has been warned that thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of working-class Americans, will soon be forced to choose between receiving a vaccine they don’t want or need or keeping their job.

That potentiality threatens catastrophe for the nation’s healthcare system and countless other industries, so let’s hope and pray that, at the very least, the court decides to issue nationwide injunctions against the enforcement of both federal mandates for the time being.

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