Even though the Supreme Court handed Joe Biden a defeat last week on his vaccine mandate applying to private employers of 100 or more workers, it also gave him a win, at least temporarily, regarding the vaccine rules issued by Medicare applicable to medical providers receiving federal money.
Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis singled out Justices John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh for criticism for siding with the three liberal justices to let the healthcare worker mandate effect nationwide.
During an interview on the Ruthless Podcast, DeSantis said that Roberts and Kavanaugh lacked “backbone” when they went along with the liberal wing of the court to side with the Biden Administration.
The governor asked listeners to “think about how insane this is,” referring to his administration’s decision to protect Florida nurses while other states fired nurses who refused the experimental jab. He pointed out that states like California are now so short of healthcare workers that they allow those with active COVID-19 infections to return to work so long as they are vaccinated.
DeSantis discussed the special legislative session he called in November and the protections the Florida legislature provided to essential healthcare workers so their vaccination decisions would not cost them their jobs. He said that the state would continue to enforce the protections it put in place even after the Supreme Court ruling last week.
Roberts and Kavanaugh were in the majority in both cases last week. The private employer case turned on whether the Biden Administration could bypass Congress by having the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) directly order companies to compel vaccines as a workplace safety measure. The court ruled 6-3 that OSHA could not enact rules that amount to “broad public health measures” that go outside the context of the workplace.
The healthcare worker case went the other way thanks to the votes of Roberts and Kavanaugh added to the three liberals, holding that Congress had given adequate authority to the executive branch in the laws regarding Medicare and Medicaid to require workers to be vaccinated. Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett dissented from the healthcare workers mandate ruling.