Joe Biden’s OSHA-enforced vaccine mandate currently hangs in the balance. Last week, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to lift a stay on the “emergency” regulation, citing grave constitutional concerns and gamesmanship by the administration. Yet, there was still some hope inside the White House that the case would end up before a more favorable court to be fully adjudicated.
Those hopes were dashed to pieces yesterday evening after the court was chosen at random. The conservative 6th Circuit Court of Appeals was selected and will now hear the case.
As terrible draws go, this isn’t the absolute worst outcome for Biden. The case could have ended up back in front of the 5th Circuit, where it not only would have gotten struck down, but the ruling would have likely been broad as well. With the 6th Circuit, it’s still getting struck down, in my opinion, but it’s possible the court might not take the entire administrative state down in the process. That’s obviously a shame given how overly broad (and likely unconstitutional) the powers of the bureaucracy have become.
How the administration plays this going forward will be very interesting. Biden’s handlers had to know that they were unlikely to prevail over the issuance of an overly broad “emergency rule” that was slated to go into effect four months after its announcement. Constitutional and timing issues heavily undermine their case. But how hard do they want to push this?
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I ask that question because if this does get to the Supreme Court, things could get much worse for the White House. The conservatives on the nation’s highest court have already expressed skepticism of the administrative state’s power structure. Do Biden and his cohorts want to push a losing fight to the point that it could end up costing them far more than this just an OSHA regulation?
Of course, what they want to do and what they will do are often two different things given how much influence the administration’s far-left base has.
This OSHA rule was always a long shot, and I think the White House knew that when they set it in motion. Much like the now struck-down eviction moratorium, it was a way to signal to their left flank that they are down for the fight while hoping the courts would save them from themselves. But can they stop the train before it careens off the cliff? Because if this is pushed all the way to the Supreme Court, the repercussions could be massive for the long-standing abuse of the bureaucratic state by Democrats.