Twilight’s Last Gleaming
“This is not about freedom or personal choice.”
— President Joseph R. Biden, Sept. 9, 2021
It was scandalous and infuriating to hear President Joseph R. Biden argue last week that his so-called vaccine mandates somehow have nothing to do with freedom or personal choice. In saying that, he has rejected our history, our values and the Constitution he swore to uphold.
He made his ignorant statement while outlining his plan to have the Department of Labor issue emergency regulations requiring every employer in America of 100 or more persons to compel all its employees to receive a vaccine against COVID-19, or the employer will be fined.
He claims the authority to issue these orders under the 1970 Occupational Safety and Health Act, or OSHA. Though it has been around for 51 years, OSHA is profoundly unconstitutional, as it purports to authorize federal bureaucrats to regulate private workplace property unavailable to the public.
Congress enacted this legislation relying on its Commerce Clause power in the Constitution. But the Commerce Clause — according to James Madison, who wrote it — only empowers Congress to keep commerce regular; it does not empower Congress to regulate the conditions of production of goods and services intended for commerce.
However, notwithstanding the plain language of the Commerce Clause — “Congress shall have power … to regulate Commerce … among the several States” — the Supreme Court, since the era of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, has given Congress a blank check authorizing it to regulate anything that affects commerce. Congress has used this clause to justify its vast expansions of federa
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