January 13, 2022
Today, the Supreme Court issued a stay on enforcement of OSHA’s vaccine mandate. Private businesses will not have to mandate their employees obtain a vaccine or subject them to testing and mask usage. This is a win for individual rights and a strong repudiation of invasive and burdensome federal action.
The Court found that OSHA has no authority to undertake a massive regulatory action affecting hundreds of millions of individuals without express authority from Congress. Under the “major rules doctrine” an agency can only take actions of vast political and economic significance when Congress says so. Congress hasn’t spoken on this issue and therefore OSHA cannot act.
The major rules doctrine ensures that administrative agencies don’t venture too far afield of their statutory authority. Under our constitutional framework, Congress makes laws and the President (through agencies like OSHA) enforces those laws. Congress is the legislative body tasked with promulgating laws affecting the entire nation and unless it specifically acts, (in nearly all cases) the Executive cannot take unilateral action.
Vaccine mandates cannot be imposed on the American people through Presidential edict. States are vested with authority to regulate health and welfare of the people. The federal government only has those powers specifically enumerated in the Constitution and the Biden Administration should not expect courts at any level to rubber-stamp illegal and unconstitutional usurpations of power.
Landmark applauds the actions of the Supreme Court.
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