Supreme Court blocks Biden’s vax mandate for businesses. Epstein co-conspirators could be named. UK’s Johnson fighting to keep seat amid lockdown party scandal.
Supreme Court blocks Biden’s vax mandate for businesses
In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court has blocked President Biden’s vaccine mandate for businesses with over 100 employees. The decision was along ideological lines with all the conservative justices voting to strike it down. The mandate would have applied to some 84 million Americans and required all employees at large companies to either get the COVID vaccine or take weekly COVID tests.
The conservative majority justified its ruling with the argument that the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) did not have the authority to enforce the White House policy without express approval from Congress. They further argued that COVID was not merely an occupational safety hazard and is present in every aspect of life.
The court’s ruling on this challenge does not prevent individual businesses from imposing their own vaccine or testing requirements.
Interestingly, the court did uphold Biden’s vaccination mandate for healthcare workers, which will apply to roughly 10 million Americans. In this instance, Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Cavanaugh sided with the court’s liberals. The majority decision asserts that Medicare and Medicaid do have the authority to create and enforce policy for facilities that receive their funding. Furthermore, they argued, vaccination requirements for other diseases are commonplace in healthcare settings.
Maxwell will no longer object to naming more potential abusers connected to Epstein
Attorneys for Ghislaine Maxwell say they will not longer fight efforts to unseal the names of eight “John Does” mentioned in a 2015 civil suit. Maxwell is the former girlfriend of now-deceased pedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein. Late last month, a jury convicted Maxwell on five counts of trafficking minors for sex with Epstein and his powerful associates. Some of those powerful associates could soon find their names in the public sphere.
One of Epstein’s victims, Virginia Giuffre, has been fighting to unseal the names of anonymous co-offenders mentioned in her 2015 civil case against Epstein. Currently, Giuffre is pursuing a civil case against Prince Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II. Giuffre alleges that Andrew sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions when she was just 17. Andrew’s attorneys launched several failed gambits to get the case thrown out, and it now appears to be moving ahead. Earlier this week, Queen Elizabeth stripped Prince Andrew of his military titles. The announcement came after outraged members of Britain’s armed services penned an open letter to the Queen demanding his ouster.
Maxwell’s decision to withdraw her objections to revealing Epstein’s co-conspirators does not necessarily mean those names will be unsealed. But the momentum of Giuffre’s case against Andrew suggests that those John Does may soon lose their legal shield.
UK PM’s job on the line after flouting COVID rules at office party
After two years weathering much COVID and Brexit-related criticism, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is now fighting for his political life. Discontent is growing among members of both the public and his own Conservative party over a May 2020 booze-up at Johnson’s official residence at Number 10 Downing St. At the time, Johnson’s government had imposed a strict and unpopular lockdown, which shuttered Britain’s shops and pubs and restricted gatherings and travel.
Johnson has offered a feeble apology for attending the get-together, saying he “believed implicitly that this was a work event”. The scandal comes at just the wrong time for Conservatives whose poll numbers have recently dipped sharply. Calls are growing within the party for Johnson to step down as head of the party and as Prime Minister.
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