Mike Pence is making a play to win back some of the Trump supporters he lost after the protest at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
The former vice president has filed an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to invalidate Joe Biden’s coronavirus vaccine mandate for private employees, The Washington Times reports.
“America is about freedom”
Under President Biden’s rule, workers at companies with more than 100 employees must get the vaccine or submit to weekly testing at their own expense, as well as wear masks.
The rule, which applies to millions of workers, has been denounced for its sweeping scope and is being challenged by about half the states in the country. The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments for and against the mandate Friday, as well as a mandate for workers at health care facilities.
In advance of the hearing, Pence and his advocacy group filed an amicus brief ripping Biden’s private employer mandate, which is called the “emergency temporary standard” and is being issued through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), as hostile to the principle of liberty that America was founded on.
Unlike past OSHA emergency rules, Pence said, Biden’s mandate coerces workers “to undertake a medical procedure (a vaccination) that cannot be undone at the end of the workday.”
“America is about freedom and the ability to make the best decision for your family or business, and Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate must be stopped in its tracks in order to preserve freedom, protect American livelihoods and businesses, and to safeguard our Constitution,” Pence said, according to The Washington Times.
Pence tries to win back GOP voters
The Biden administration has framed its mandate as a benevolent effort to protect workers and claims that without it, “hundreds” will die every day.
However, challengers say Biden is asserting authority he doesn’t have, and that COVID-19 is not an “occupational hazard” as defined by Congress in the law that authorized OSHA.
Biden has continued to defend his mandates, despite admitting that there is “no federal solution” to the pandemic — and despite a surge in infections among the vaccinated, Biden has continued to blame the pandemic on the 15% of U.S. adults who are unvaccinated.
Pence is seen as likely to challenge his former boss for the GOP’s White House nomination in 2024, and is holding strong in third place in the polls, although he trails Trump by double-digit margins.
Conservative support for Pence plummeted after the January 2021 Capitol riot, according to FiveThirtyEight, when Pence angered many Trump backers by refusing to object to the 2020 election. Only time will tell if the former VP’s latest play is enough to pull GOP voters away from Trump, who continues to dominate the Republican Party.