The Vaccination Mandate, the Congressional Statutory Framework, and Presidential Action

Although I agree with Greg Weiner’s post in his general point about congressional legislation that is too sweeping in its general point, I don’t think the point applies here. After all, the Fifth Circuit found sufficient distance between OSHA and the vaccination mandate that it put a stay on the Mandate, pending further action by the Court. Of course, the Court could end up allowing the mandate to continue. But, as Weiner notes, there is a significant difference between OSHA’S provision for standards relating to toxic chemicals, “substances or agents that are deemed to be toxic or physically harmful or from new hazards,” and Covid-19 standards. In other words, this may be one of those few times when congressional legislation is sufficiently clear that it can proscribe presidential actions. This discrepancy between the actual legislation and the President’s use of it points then in the other direction institutionally. Insufficiently clear congressional legislation is a problem; but so too is bad faith interpretations of that legislation by the President. Presidents routinely push the boundaries even of legislation that is already quite broad. In doing so, we end up with an executive unbound, which is bipartisan in its abuse of power.

Leave a Reply