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Lankford: Biden’s Vaccine Mandate is an Overreach of Executive Power and Should Remain Blocked by the Court

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) issued a statement following the Supreme Court’s emergency hearings on whether two separate stays on vaccine mandates impacting private businesses and health care professionals should remain in place: 

“Today the Supreme Court heard arguments in two very important cases regarding Biden’s vaccine mandates. Our Constitution does not give the Executive Branch the authority to reach into every private business and tell them what to do. I have been clear for months that Biden’s vaccine mandates are a far overreach of his power, and the Supreme Court should uphold the right of every American to make the choices that are best for them, not what a president of the United States who has never met them feels is best. My family and I chose to take the vaccine and we are grateful for it, but that was our choice. Americans have the right to their choice as well.

“I look forward to the Supreme Court providing clarity and peace for the many Oklahomans who will be impacted by these decisions.” 

Lankford, along with 46 of his Republican Senate Colleagues and 136 of Republican members of the House of Representatives filed an amicus brief to the Supreme Court  that argues that Congress did not give the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) the authority to impose a vaccine mandate and urges the Supreme Court to stay the mandate. 

Background:

  • On December 17, 2021, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit lifted the Fifth Circuit’s stay of the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandate for large employers. The Department of Labor has stated it will begin enforcing the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on January 10, 2022. The Department will also give employers acting in good faith until February 9, 2022, before it will begin issuing citations for violations of the mandate’s testing requirements.
  • The Court of Appeals for the Fifth, Eighth, and Eleventh Circuits and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas have all issued stays that apply to 25 states including Oklahoma, for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) vaccine mandates that impacts nearly all health care workers. For the 25 states that are not under this stay, CMS is currently set to enforce the mandate on February 28, 2022. 

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