The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Friday in a high-stakes public session to decide whether the U.S. government can begin enforcing sweeping COVID-19 vaccine requirements affecting nearly 100 million workers.
For three hours and 40 minutes, the justices heard oral arguments over federal vaccine and testing rules for businesses with 100 employees or more, and on vaccine mandates for health care workers at facilities receiving Medicaid and Medicare funding.
Enforcement of the policies, which were announced in November, has been put on hold pending resolution in the high court.
Justice Gorsuch got to the heart of the issue during his questioning:
Gorsuch gets it: "Congress has had a year to act on the question of vaccine mandates... Now the federal government is going agency-to-agency as a workaround to its inability to get Congress to act."— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) January 7, 2022
However, some liberal members of the Court took today's oral arguments as an opportunity to spread straight up disinformation about COVID-19 and the current state of the pandemic. The disinformation included everything from misrepresenting hospitalization rates to the efficacy of the vaccine. As The Federalist noted, justices like Clarence Thomas pushed back:
“There’s been some talk suggestion, or at least it seems to be implied, that the vaccinations are efficacious and preventing some degree of infection to others,” Thomas said, noting that younger people are at lower risk of injury and death from contracting COVID-19.
In response to Thomas, Benjamin Flowers, Ohio’s solicitor general who was challenging the OSHA rule, was the first legal counsel to address the lies that the other justices spewed for more than an hour.
The article continued:
The examples, data, and facts did not quell the falsities coming from the left-leaning justices such as Sotomayor, who went on to claim that COVID-19 is a “grave risk” for “people of all ages and conditions” and that unvaccinated people have potential to hurt themselves and others, including the vaccinated.
She, along with Breyer, also bizarrely claimed that “hospitals are almost all full capacity,” which is not true, and lied that more than 100,000 children are hospitalized with COVID and on ventilators.
This is just absolutely astonishing. "100,000 children in serious condition," per Sotomayor. Where do these people obtain their misinformation? The current national pediatric COVID census per HHS is 3,342. Many/most incidental.— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) January 7, 2022
The Court is expected to issue an opinion on an expedited timeline.
My take is it could be days/weeks - definitely not the usual June timeline. https://t.co/xwKVzIvgKy— Shannon Bream (@ShannonBream) January 7, 2022
Today's oral arguments can be watched in their entirety here.