A conservative group founded by former Vice President Mike Pence announced Monday its legal support for several business groups and states that are asking the Supreme Court to pause President Joe Biden’s coronavirus vaccine mandate for companies with 100 or more employees.
Pence’s group, a nonprofit called Advancing American Freedom (AAF), asked permission from the Supreme Court to file an amicus brief supporting multiple petitions that are challenging the mandate that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is implementing this week for private sector employers with 100-plus employees.
The White House estimates the OSHA mandate will affect more than 80 million workers nationwide.
AAF’s brief argues:
Through the separation of powers, the Framers of our Constitution tightly bounded the ability of the Executive Branch unilaterally to impose bodily mandates on American citizens, or to erect barriers to work, that were not clearly authorized by the peoples’ elected representatives in Congress. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) recently published Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), issued November 4, 2021, ignores those limitations.
On December 22, the Supreme Court made an extraordinarily rare decision to hold oral arguments on January 7 on four emergency applications for stay — two of which are being supported by AAF’s amicus brief — filed by several business groups and a majority of states in the nation. The two emergency applications for stay included in AAF’s brief were filed in response to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit’s decision to allow Biden to move forward with his vaccine mandate on private employers while legal challenges surrounding the mandate are still being litigated.
In addition to arguments about the two applications challenging the OSHA mandate, the Supreme Court on January 7 will also hear arguments over two applications challenging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) mandate that 10 million healthcare workers be vaccinated.
The Supreme Court’s December 22 order about the oral arguments is significant in that it marks the first time in many years that the High Court will hold such arguments over emergency applications for temporary stay.
In a statement about AAF’s amicus brief, Pence emphasized his stance that the vaccine mandates are a violation of individual freedom.
“America is about freedom and the ability to make the best decision for your family or business, and Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate must be stopped in its tracks in order to preserve freedom, protect American livelihoods and businesses, and to safeguard our Constitution,” Pence said.
He added, “Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate is not the American way, and Advancing American Freedom will always stand up to unconstitutional overreach from the Executive Branch that infringes on the freedoms we so greatly cherish.”
AAF, which Pence launched in April 2021, promotes the pro-life movement, school choice, religious liberty, and other conservative principles, and the group has filed numerous amicus briefs in support of its causes.
The applications are NFIB v. OSHA, No. 21A244, and Ohio v. Dep’t of Labor, No. 21A247 in the Supreme Court of the United States.