Supreme Court Skeptical of Biden Vaccine Mandates

The Supreme Court appeared skeptical of the legality of President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for businesses.


The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Friday on the legality of Biden’s vaccine mandates for businesses and healthcare workers.

  • Biden’s vaccine-or-weekly-testing mandate on businesses with more than 100 employees was the first of two issues before the Court.
  • The Biden Administration used the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue an “emergency temporary standard,” which allowed them to circumvent the normal rule-making and legislative processes.
  • The six conservative justices appeared unconvinced by the Solicitor General’s argument that the executive branch has the authority to enact such a sweeping rule without Congressional authorization.
  • The Justices appeared to split 3-3-3, with Justices Thomas, Gorsuch and Alito most skeptical, Kagan, Sotomayor and Breyer most supportive, and Kavanaugh, Barrett and Chief Justice Roberts looking for a middle way.
  • Some of the justices who were more skeptical of the business mandate seemed more open to the mandate for healthcare workers, raising the prospect of a split decision.

reporting from the left side of the aisle




  • Andrew McCarthy, legal analyst for Fox News and National Review, wrote a thorough summary of oral arguments and the issues before the court. McCarthy predicts Biden’s mandates are headed for defeat.
  • Conservative legal podcast Advisory Opinions walked through the two vaccine mandate cases before the Court and predicted where the Justices would fall on the two issues.
  • Legal Insurrection covered the liberal Justices’ ignorance of basic COVID-19 statistics and repeated falsehoods throughout oral arguments.

Author’s Take

The truly shocking aspect of the oral arguments was Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s false claims and misinformation. Sotomayor seemed unable (or unwilling) to acknowledge limits on federal authority or distinctions between federal and state powers.

Sotomayor falsely claimed 100,000 children were in “serious condition” or on ventilators. In fact, the seven-day average of pediatric hospitalizations with or because of COVID-19 was 3,713. The average number admitted daily is just 776. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky stated that the averages make no distinction between children admitted for COVID-19 and children admitted, for example, with a broken wrist and diagnosed with asymptomatic COVID while at the hospital. Sotomayor wasn’t just wrong; she was wrong by several orders of magnitude.

Justice Sotomayor clearly wants to be a legislator. Her ideological rhetoric and fact-free analysis are perfectly suited for a career in the legislative branch. She should resign from the Court and run for Congress, where she belongs.

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© Dominic Moore, 2022