It’s been nearly a month since Joe Biden announced a vaccine mandate that covers private companies of 100 or more people.
Many cheered, and many were outraged. Since then, experts have weighed in on the legality of such a mandate. Republican leaders nationwide have vowed to challenge it, but so far nothing has happened. And the reason why is very simple: The mandate doesn’t exist.
Not yet, anyway.
Joy Pullmann at The Federalist notes that when it comes to Biden’s vaccine mandate, “all we have is his press conference and other such made-for-media huff-puffing. No such rule even claiming to be legally binding has been issued yet.”
“That’s why nearly two dozen Republican attorneys general who have publicly voiced their opposition to the clearly unconstitutional and illegal mandate haven’t yet filed suit against it,” she explains. “There is no mandate to haul into court. And that may be part of the plan.”
Sources told Pullmann that Biden’s announced vaccine mandate hasn’t even been sent to the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs for approval. The White House, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Department of Labor haven’t released any guidance for the mandate Biden claimed was coming. No executive order was issued. All we have so far is a press release, which, of course, has no legal authority.
“There is nothing there yet that gives employers any mandate,” Stephanie McFarland, spokeswoman for the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration, told Pullmann earlier this week. “The president made an announcement on this asking OSHA to do it, but we’ve not yet seen anything come from it yet.”
Pullmann explains that in order to “impose the public perception of a mandate,” the Biden administration is using a “unusual rule-making process” called an emergency temporary standard (ETS), which they did once before earlier this year. “The spring ETS rule took nearly six months to issue. Meanwhile, companies are telling reporters their vaccine mandates will have at the latest December deadlines.” That’s four months after Biden announced the mandate that doesn’t even exist. “According to OSHA, an ETS takes up to six months to go into effect after the initial mandate is issued in the Federal Register,” which hasn’t even happened yet.
Using the ETS procedure instead of normal federal rule-making processes both allows the Biden administration to push its demands faster and without any public input or requirement of responding to public input, which is normally required of even legally laughable federal rule-making like this one would be. That is part of why ETS rules have been overwhelmingly overturned in courts.
It’s been widely speculated that Biden’s vaccine mandate is unconstitutional, but without any executive order or regulation, all we have is a mirage. This protects the Biden administration from legal challenges, yet private companies are still rushing to comply with it out of fear.