The Supreme Court heard arguments last week concerning the legality of two of the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
Although the high court’s conservative justices at times sounded skeptical, however, the White House denies that it has any reason to worry.
“We are confident in our legal authority, as we’ve been stating for these past several months,” White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One, according to the Washington Examiner.
“Unvaccinated Americans continue to face a real threat of severe illness and death, including from [omicron],” she added.
“Protects vulnerable patients”
Jean-Pierre went on to defend the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s requirement that businesses with over 100 employees verify that all members of their workforce have been fully vaccinated.
“The OSHA rule ensures that employers are protecting their employees by encouraging workers to get vaccinated and requiring unvaccinated workers to mask and test,” she said, according to the Examiner.
Another rule from the Biden administration requires health care professionals to get vaccinated for the coronavirus, a move that Jean-Pierre claimed “protects vulnerable patients by requiring that covered healthcare providers get vaccinated.”
The deputy press secretary went on to assert that there is broad public support for the president’s decision to force vaccination on large swaths of the American public.
“The views of the relevant voices across the spectrum, ranging from the American Medical Association to the AFL-CIO [union], is that the need and the urgency for these policies is greater than ever,” she insisted, according to the Examiner.
“Never done before”
However, comments from some of the Supreme Court’s more conservative members suggest they are far from convinced.
Fox News noted that Chief Justice John Roberts at one point stressed the unprecedented nature of the administration’s rules, remarking, “This is something the federal government has never done before.”
Meanwhile, Justice Samuel Alito pushed back on what he felt was a drive to rush the decision, asking, “Does the federal government object to our taking a couple of days, maybe, to think about this, to digest the arguments before people start losing jobs?”