Lottery May Trigger Vaccine Mandate For Flyers
Fate of OSHA Rule Now in Hands of Conservative Republican-Dominated Court
The lottery, required by federal law whenever competing cases are filed in several different courts of appeal, put the consolidated cases - now stayed indefinitely by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals - into the hands of the equally conservative Sixth Circuit.
But 20 of the 27 judges on this very conservative court were nominated by Republican presidents. "It's not good news for Biden," argues Lawrence Gostin, director of the O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, who has argued forcefully in favor of the legality of the OSHA rule.
Professor Banzhaf, whose legal actions regarding smoking saved millions of lives, and who has already made significant contributions to the war on the pandemic, suggests four reasons why this lottery is a game changer.
1. The Sixth Circuit is unlikely to overturn the stay of the requirement unanimously imposed by the equally conservative Fifth Circuit, thereby likely condemning this key initiation to an inglorious defeat for the foreseeable future.
2. Even if by chance it does overturn the stay pending a decision on the merits, it is likely to take longer to do so, thereby further delaying its implementation, and incentive for an increasing number of vaccinated Americans.
3. The oral arguments and written opinions are likely to produce comments which were even more critical of one of the White House's signature public health policies [Washington Post - (https://www.washingtonpost.com/
4. All of this will cause tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths and hospitalizations, and further tarnish the President's reputation and public image for dealing with the now-again-growing number of Covid cases.
Banzhaf previously told many of Biden's key Covid advisors that, since the stay, at least for now and perhaps indefinitely, halts President Biden's most potent mechanism for persuading people to become vaccinated, this would be an ideal time for him to announce what is probably inevitable anyway, and which some of his Covid advisors have already endorsed - requiring passengers desiring to fly, internationally and also probably domestically, to have at least one shot.