DeSantis Says Roberts, Kavanaugh Lack 'Backbone' on Vaccine Mandate Ruling
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
By Nicole Wells | Friday, 14 January 2022 07:30 PM
In a guest appearance on a conservative podcast Friday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis criticized Supreme Court Justices John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh for lacking a ''backbone'' in their ruling on the Biden administration's vaccine mandate for certain health workers.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court allowed the healthcare worker mandate to go into effect but blocked enforcement of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's vaccine mandate for businesses with 100 or more employees. Justices Roberts and Kavanaugh sided with the liberal justices on the healthcare worker mandate.
''On the nurse mandate and the doctor mandate, Roberts and Kavanaugh joined with the liberals to allow the nurse mandate,'' DeSantis said on the podcast “Ruthless.” ''Now, in Florida, we protected the nurses, so we have people that are working. But in other states, they fired nurses who were not vaccinated.''
DeSantis, a Republican, said that some hospitals are so short-staffed that they're allowing vaccinated but COVID-positive employees to rreturn to work.
''So, they have COVID-positive people back on. Meanwhile, the unvaccinated, likely immune through prior infection, healthy nurses are on the sidelines fired,'' he added. ''How insane are these policies?''
''Roberts and Kavanaugh did not have a backbone on that decision,'' DeSantis said. ''That's just the bottom line.''
DeSantis praised his administration’s response, saying his state ''didn’t necessarily wait for the courts'' when fighting Biden’s vaccine mandate for U.S. companies with more than 100 employees.
''I called a special session of the Legislature in November, and we provided protections so that, in Florida, you’re not going to lose your job over these shots,'' DeSantis said on the podcast. ''You have the right to work.''
Calling the OSHA vaccine mandate ruling a ''no-brainer,'' he said that ''anybody who’s not a far-left jurist was going to come out that way.''
The OSHA mandate had taken effect on Monday and had required businesses with more than 100 employees to require workers to be vaccinated for COVID-19 or wear a mask and undergo weekly testing.
The court ruled that OSHA lacked the authority to impose the mandate because the law that created OSHA ''empowers the Secretary to set workplace safety standards, not broad public health measures.''