If the Supreme Court decides to overturn the Biden administration’s employer vaccine mandate it could wind up benefiting the White House — by increasing stability in the workplace, according to the conservative American Action Forum.
According to its research, an estimated 10 million workers at large firms are likely to resist vaccine mandates and look for work somewhere else.
“The mandate has the potential to be very disruptive to the labor market,” American Action Forum President Douglas Holtz-Eakin told the Washington Examiner.
“You can make a very principled, free-market case that employers get to decide the conditions on which they employ people. If you can sort this out with private contracts, why are you telling people how to run their companies? [A Supreme Court loss] would avoid that fight as well.”
Holtz-Eakin noted the omicron variant changes the equation around requiring vaccines, which remain effective at preventing hospitalization and death but seem much less likely to prevent transmission.
“If the public health benefits diminish, the mandate case diminishes as well,” Holtz-Eakin told the news outlet, predicting if the rule is overturned, it would “take one more political lightning rod off the books” ahead of the midterm elections.
On the other side of the argument, David Madland, a senior fellow with the Center for American Progress, told the news outlet there are benefits to mandated vaccination.
“The Biden administration wants to control the COVID-19 pandemic, and that will make the economy better,” he told the Washington Examiner. “That’s what will make the public happy, and that’s what they’re trying to achieve with the [Occupational Safety and Health Administration] vaccine mandate.”
He predicts if the rule stands, it’ll help improve President Joe Biden’s popularity — and the Democratic performance in the midterm elections.
But GOP strategist Doug Heye said the politics around mandates are complicated.
“The best thing that can happen for the Biden administration is for the country to get past COVID as soon as possible, and they obviously believe mandates are a way to get there,” he told the Washington Examiner. “But government mandates come with a backlash from a public that wants to return to normal or whatever normal will be.”