It’s a measure of how corrupted constitutional law and the courts have become that the answer to this question is in doubt, instead of an unqualified no. From Jonathan Turley at jonathanturley.org:
Below is my column in the Hill on the review of the OSHA vaccine mandate imposed by the Biden Administration. Courts like the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit are facing a novel use of workplace regulations in an admitted effort to circumvent constitutional limitations. The question is whether it will work.
Here is the column:
The Biden administration was hit by a broadside last week, when the U.S. Court of Appeals enjoined its use of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to implement a national vaccine mandate as a matter of “workplace safety.” Not to be deterred, the administration reportedly is pushing forward with a possible extension of that rule to small businesses.
White House chief of staff Ron Klain professed “confidence” that they have found what he previously admitted was a “work-around” of the Constitution, which does not give the president such authority. After all, Klain argued this week, this is no different than requiring hard hats in the workplace.
Klain’s confidence may run into serious constitutional doubts in the courts, however. Indeed, he and other White House officials may be making the case for the 24 states challenging the mandate.
Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once wrote that “hard cases make bad law.” The same thing might be said about hard-hat arguments. Klain has suffered from an abundance of confidence when some prudence may be preferred at the Justice Department. Like President Biden, he has vacillated between claiming the authority to require vaccinations and then backtracking to claim only the authority to “urge” vaccinations.