Rep. Estes Joins Amicus Brief to the Supreme Court Opposing Vaccine Mandates
Washington, January 5, 2022 | Roman Rodriguez (316-262-8992)
WASHINGTON – Rep. Ron Estes (R-Kansas) joined Republican colleagues in the House and Senate filing an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court opposing the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) requires employers with more than 100 employees to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine or weekly testing.
“President Biden’s vaccine mandate is an example of blatant government overreach,” said Rep. Estes. “Kansans should not have to choose between forced federal government intervention and their livelihoods. Their health care decisions should be of their own volition after consideration with their trusted doctors. I am happy to join my fellow colleagues in filing an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court to end this unlawful mandate.”
In the brief, the Members write: “Congressional members have an interest in the powers they delegate to agencies not being abused—the legislative authority vested in the federal government belongs to Congress, not the Executive branch. In this case, the promulgation by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) of a sweeping, nationwide vaccine mandate on businesses intrudes into an area of legislative concern far beyond the authority of the agency. And it does so with a Mandate enacted through OSHA’s seldom-used ‘emergency temporary standard’ (ETS) provision that allows for bypass of notice and comment rulemaking under certain circumstances. That OSHA exceeded its authority in enacting the ETS Mandate is not a ‘particularly hard’ question.”
On Dec. 17, 2021, the U.S. 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 ETS on Jan. 10, 2022. The Department will also give employers acting in good faith until Feb. 9, 2022, before it will start issuing citations for violations of the mandate’s testing requirements. Several parties have filed petitions for review, and SCOTUS is set to hear oral arguments on Jan. 7, 2022, on whether to issue an emergency stay of the ETS.
Rep. Estes has also introduced legislation to protect religious liberty exemptions and cosponsored legislation to stop vaccine mandates, as well as signing a letter seeking answers from President Biden. He also launched a Share Your Story webpage at estes.house.gov/stories. Rep. Estes will share the collected stories with the Biden administration, congressional colleagues and fellow Kansans as he works to prevent these mandates from taking effect.
Read the full text of the brief here.