Supreme Court Vaccine Mandate and Evangel Statement

I read the supreme court opinions in the cases on the vax.

The cases came down to essentially this question. Who has the authority to make decisions on vaccine mandates? The majority position was that this is a decision left to the people who are represented in congress and their local legislatures and that OSHA had not been delegated this authority. Congress and local legislatures can delegate some of their regulative powers but Neil Gorsuch made clear in his concurring position that some powers are not able to be delegated. That is while Congress can assign to certain agencies smaller tasks, some decisions are of such constitutional nature that the politicians can’t pass the buck, which they are want to do. Legislative bodies have increasingly handed off their duties to non-elected bodies in order to protect themselves from making difficult decisions that are fraught with political peril. This has been one of the reasons for the decline of liberty in the US and the rise of the deepstate administrative state.

Evangel Presbytery pointed this out in our 2021 statement on vaccines in which we said,
“Concerning COVID, science may serve as a counsel or to the civil authority, but science may not usurp the civil authority’s duty of decreeing public health policies and mandates. Many studies of COVID provide useful data, but neither the studies nor those with research expertise may substitute for the magistrate’s own judgment and decision. Certainly the magistrate is to consider the statistical prevalence of death and bodily harm, but this is only the beginning of his work. He must go on to weigh the consequences of his subjective policy responses and countermeasures, including those which may adversely affect the familial and ecclesiastical spheres. This judgment is his responsibility, and he must not abdicate or obfuscate this duty by claiming “science requires” this or that policy or mandate.”

The liberal wing of the supreme court dissenting argument was that the court is unelected and should therefore just trust the judgement of the “experts.”
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Because of the argument of the majority position in the case against OSHA, I found the decision in the case for Medical workers confused and contradictory. In this case, it was the dissenting arguments again led by the conservatives who were logically consistent with the first case.

None of this of course will satisfy anyone who argues that the civil government cannever enforce vaccine mandates, though there was enough in the OSHA case’s concurring opinion to see that the court might be opposed to a federal mandate even if congress acted.

Again I found Gorsuch’s concurring opinion the strongest and most intriguing seeing how it fits in with what we said in the statement on vaccines.

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This will be a bit of a tangent, but the thing that is supposed to prevent this is the nondelegation doctrine. Quoting from here:

Congress cannot delegate its legislative powers to other entities. This prohibition typically involves Congress delegating its powers to administrative agencies or to private organizations.

Sadly, Wikipedia says, “The Supreme Court has never found a violation of the nondelegation doctrine outside of Panama Refining and Schechter Poultry in 1935.”

However, the current makeup of the court might change this. A majority seems to be open to revisiting the non-delegation doctrine. One group was looking for a strong case to hopefully get a win with and found the Universal Service Fund—a tax, where the actual amount is set by a private organization. Congress delegated an unconstitutional amount of authority to the FCC, and then the FCC turned around and sub-delegated it! If the non-delegation principle means anything it should prevent this. If this case can be won, depending on the ruling, it might cause a pretty dent in the administrative state.

I only know about this because I was approached to be one of the plaintiffs. So, yes, I’m suing the FCC.

Anyway, to get back on topic, the rulings from yesterday are a bit of a mixed bag in my reading as well. I still don’t know which way to expect the case I’m part of to go.

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It’s classic progressive thought: the people and their representatives cannot be trusted to make the big decisions, which are best made by the managerial class of experts.

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When they get what they want, it’s democracy (or more au courant, “Their Democracy”). When we get what we want, it’s politics.

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