Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis lambasted Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and John Roberts as having no ‘backbone’ as they sided with liberal justices to uphold President Biden’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers.
The Supreme Court on Thursday released a highly anticipated decision blocking Biden’s mandate ordering businesses with 100 or more employees to require vaccination or weekly testing. The high court however allowed a mandate requiring that facilities that receive federal funding to tell employees to get vaccinated.
‘On the nurse mandate and the doctor mandate, Roberts and Kavanaugh joined with the liberals to allow the nurse mandate,’ DeSantis said during a guest appearance on the ‘Ruthless’ podcast on Friday.
‘So here’s what’s going on, think about how insane this is,’ he continued. ‘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.’
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said that Justices John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh had ‘no backbone’ for deciding to allow Biden’s healthcare vaccine mandate
The court ruled 6-3 to turn down the federal mandate for private employers, 5-4 to allow the mandate for federally funded healthcare facilities to remain in place.
The court’s decision is not the final say on the healthcare mandate – 27 states had petitioned the Supreme Court to issue a stay on the rule while it is battled out in lower courts.
DeSantis noted that hospitals in places like California are allowing Covid-positive nurses to return to work due to short staffing.
‘So they have COVID-positive people back on, meanwhile the unvaccinated, likely immune through prior infection, healthy nurses are on the sidelines fired,’ the Sunshine State governor continued. ‘How insane are these policies?’
‘But honestly, Roberts and Kavanaugh did not have a backbone on that decision,’ DeSantis also said. ‘That’s just the bottom line.’
DeSantis already in November signed a bill banning vaccine mandates in the state unless employers offered up a broad range of exemptions.
‘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 in the podcast. ‘You have the right to work.’
DeSantis said on Thursday after the SCOTUS ruling that he would enforce the Florida law banning private employers’ vaccine mandates as well as requirements for public workers.
‘We’re going to make sure that that is enforced, and we’re going to make sure we’re providing protections for people so that they don’t have their livelihoods ruined by an unconstitutional and really ham-handed federal mandate,’ DeSantis said.
But Florida Hospital Association President and CEO Mary Mayhew said that centers receiving Medicare and Medicaid funding could still implement vaccine mandates for their employees.
‘Hospitals are obligated to remain compliant with the programs’ conditions of participation and must comply with this federal vaccine requirement now upheld by the highest court,’ said Mayhew, who previously worked in the DeSantis administration, according to Florida Politics.
Mayhew said hospitals are now caught between the ongoing feud between Biden and DeSantis and ‘may still need clarity from the courts regarding federal preemption regarding the Florida state law.’
On the other side, Biden called the Supreme Court’s ruling against the private employer mandate ‘disappointing’ but touted that the healthcare mandate ‘will save lives.’ He encouraged private businesses to require vaccination of their own accord.
‘This emergency standard allowed employers to require vaccinations or to permit workers to refuse to be vaccinated, so long as they were tested once a week and wore a mask at work: a very modest burden,’ the president claimed.
‘As a result of the Court’s decision, it is now up to States and individual employers to determine whether to make their workplaces as safe as possible for employees, and whether their businesses will be safe for consumers during this pandemic by requiring employees to take the simple and effective step of getting vaccinated.’
Thirteen states including Texas, Florida and Arizona have bans or limits on imposing vaccine mandates while many companies including Macy’s and Starbucks have already announced measures for their employees.
Democrat-led states such as New York with their own mandates won’t be impacted and can keep their rules in place, while states without any rules in place can decide for themselves.