Vaccine mandate, Prince Andrew and Gruyere cheese | Daily skimming
President Biden’s vaccine and testing mandate is on.
Last year, Biden said large corporations (think private companies with 100 or more employees) must have their employees vaccinated against COVID-19 or mask up and test themselves regularly. The mandate covered two-thirds of all Americans – about 84 million people. And it happened when only 60% of eligible adults had at least one vaccine. 27 states sued. And Americans were divided. Many seemed to support the decision to see the mandate as the main way out of a devastating pandemic. But the companies were not convinced. And some unions wanted their workers to have a say in politics. Meanwhile, some Republican leaders were against mandates of any kind. Between: SCOTUS.
What did they say ?
SCOTUS agreed with the Republicans. In a 6-3 decision, the justices said Biden’s administrator had no authority to enforce the warrant. The majority argued the Department of Labor was overstepping because the mandate was a “significant encroachment” on the lives of employees. The liberal justices disagreed, saying desperate and “unprecedented” times called for the measures. And that it is in the wheelhouse of the Department of Labor to regulate occupational safety.
SCOTUS left vaccination mandates in place for some 10 million healthcare workers (think: those at facilities receiving federal dollars). It is now up to companies and states to decide whether or not to require vaccinations. Biden said he was “disappointed” and argued that the mandates were “based on science and the law.” Corn supporters — including Republicans and trade associations — called it a victory and urged the administrator to work with employers.
Administrator Biden’s vaccination mandate has been the most expansive use of federal power during the pandemic. Health officials saw it as a vital public health measure. Others – ranging from anti-vaccine activists to Republicans to the Supreme Court – saw it as an excess of government power. And this year, Americans will voice their opinions at the polls.
PS: Here’s what you need to know about workplace vaccination mandates.
Who faces a royal judgement…
Prince Andrew. Yesterday Queen Elizabeth stripped the prince of his honorary military titles and royal roles. In addition to this, Prince Andrew will no longer use the title ‘His Royal Highness’. The decision comes days after a US federal judge ruled that a lawsuit charging the Queen had yielded favorite son sexual assault could take place. And that the royal – who is ninth in line to the throne – cannot escape the US justice system. The lawsuit was brought by Virginia Giuffre who alleged the prince sexually assaulted her on Jeffrey Epstein’s private island when she was 17. Prince Andrew has denied the allegations. Now the queen says “he is alone”. And that he will be tried “as a private citizen” this year. It is a major punitive measure against a member of the royal family. And legal experts say the prince doesn’t have many options.
Who are people talking about…
Novak Djokovic. This morning, Australia revoked the Serbian tennis star’s visa. Djokovic flew out earlier this month for the Australian Open. He had a medical exemption from their COVID-19 vaccine requirement. But border authorities said he failed to provide adequate evidence to meet entry requirements. days later, a judge moved to reinstate Djokovic’s visa Now Australia’s immigration minister says he canceled the visa due to ‘health and good order’. But Djokovic’s lawyers plan to appeal.
What lawmakers have in mind…
The buccaneer. Yesterday, Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) appeared to deliver a killing blow to Democrats’ efforts to end the Senate obstruction. The goal was to help Dems pass voting rights legislation by a simple majority. But without Sinema and Manchin on board, they don’t have the support. It comes as President Biden pushed to end the filibuster – after backing him for years. And a few days before MLK Jr Day on Monday, when the late Reverend’s family is lead a walk call for federal suffrage legislation.
… Oh and on the GOP side, the Republican National Committee also wants changes. He threatens to ban its future presidential candidates from running some debates.
PS: Wondering how a buccaneer works? We have flown over it for you.
Where there is an update…
Germany. A former Syrian secret police officer was sentenced to life in prison yesterday after being found guilty of crimes against humanity by a German court. In the first-ever conviction of a senior Syrian official, prosecutors have proven that Anwar Raslan was responsible for “widespread and systematic” crimes against more than 4,000 prisoners. And the rapes and assaults of detainees under the Assad regime, as well as the death of at least 27 people. The sentencing is celebrated by many as a landmark case in the search for justice.
Who now has to pay…
Navigate. Yesterday, the student loan servicer reached a $1.85 billion deal to settle predatory student loan applications. 66,000 borrowers will have their debts cancelled, and another 350,000 will receive relief. See here to find out if you qualify.
PS: This case concerns private student loans. But there is a larger debate over the cancellation of federal student loans. Here’s what it could mean for your wallet.
What is Gruyère today, over there tomorrow…
Skimmed by Rashaan Ayesh, Kate Gilhool, William Horn, Julie Shain and Mariza Smajlaj