How does Team Biden handle unfriendly court orders? Why, ignore ‘em, of course! All joking aside, “ignore it” is precisely the message Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre delivered Monday, November 9 when asked about a court hold on the president’s OSHA-enforced vaccine mandate. The rule, recently formalized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, states that businesses with over 100 employees must ensure their staff is vaccinated, and acquire proof to verify compliance; any personnel who do not get inoculated must submit to regular COVID testing. The new rule went into effect Friday, November 5 – and was stayed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit the next day.
Until a final ruling is handed down, as Liberty Nation Legal Affairs Editor Scott D. Cosenza, Esq. pointed out, the administration is forbidden from enforcing the requirement. But the White House can still beg, demand, and perhaps even intimidate.
A press pool reporter brought up the stay during a question and answer session, asking if this was likely to cause delays and inquiring after the White House’s “message to businesses and Americans, you know, who are subject to that rule.”
Jean-Pierre replied with a general defense of the idea that COVID is a workplace emergency that warrants government action, the action itself, and the agency’s authority to enforce it. When pressed on whether or not employers who see that the order has been stayed should wait to see how it plays out, Jean-Pierre responded:
“No, that’s a great question. I appreciate the question. We think we – people should not wait. It’s – we say: Do not wait to take actions that will keep your workplace safe. It is important and critical to do, and waiting to get more people vaccinated will lead to more outbreaks and sickness.
“So, people should not wait. They should continue to go – move forward and make sure that they’re getting the workplace vaccinated.”
In other words, pretend as if this stay never happened because – at least in this case – ignoring the court is the right thing to do for the greater good. But this has always been the clarion call of the left: Do what we say is right and ignore all others – rules be damned. Anything, no matter how illegal or evil when the other side does it, is acceptable – laudable, even – when the ends justify the means.
It’s hypocritical, sure, and it’s lawless. But perhaps most importantly, moving forward, it’s short-sighted. If one court order can – and even should – be ignored, why can’t another? What’s to stop any Republican White House with a GOP-dominated Congress from asking Americans to ignore any liberal court order or law?
There are numerous arguments against Biden’s rule – from those who say it’s outside OSHA’s actual authority to those who argue that, since it’s two years into the pandemic and the rule has already been delayed until January 2022, this situation can’t be considered a real workplace emergency. Presumably, both sets of arguments will be answered by the court soon.
In the meantime, OSHA can’t take action – but what if the court rules in Biden’s favor? What if the delay costs lives, regardless of the legal outcome? If those questions strike fear into the hearts of some employers and employees, it’s because that’s what they were designed to do. Right now, the Biden administration has little more than scare tactics to enforce its will on this issue.
LN recently asked the question: “Will the vaccine mandate really be enforced, and what will the U.S. look like if it is?” Now that the Fifth Circuit has taken the case, we may soon have an answer.
~ Read more from James Fite.