Here's how Ohio is playing a major role in the COVID-19 vaccine mandate trial

Supreme Court Vaccine Mandate Maine
Posted at 7:17 PM, Jan 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-05 19:35:41-05

CINCINNATI — The push to block the federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private businesses with more than 100 employees was picked up by the Supreme Court.

Opponents of the mandate are saying there's an untold story that everyone will experience if it's enforced.

"You are going to see empty shelves wherever you go," Robert Alt with the Buckeye Institute said.

Alt said that's what will happen if companies are forced to fire hard-working, well-trained employees who refuse to get vaccinated.

"This is probably part of the real untold story," Alt said.

The Buckeye Institute is a Columbus-based think-tank that represents a handful of clients opposed to OSHA's vaccine mandate for businesses with more than 100 employees.

After being bounced around in the lower courts, the Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in the case on Friday, just days before the mandate is slated to be enforced.

"That's what the court is being asked to do is to actually go ahead and allow businesses and individuals to keep on acting the way they have until it's clear this is a lawful regulation," Alt said.

As for any precedence to fall back on from previous cases, Sharona Hoffman, a professor of law and bioethics at Case Western, said there really is none. But the severity of this pandemic promoted the unprecedented move by the government.

"Interventions are necessary and this is an easy way to ensure public health and public safety," Hoffman said.

As for the mandate's future, the court of appeals in Cincinnati may offer a sign of what's to come.

"The Sixth Circuit, which is not a liberal circuit, it is pretty conservative upheld the mandate," Hoffman said.

Buckeye Institute's briefing will be included, as Ohio's solicitor general will argue before the Supreme Court on behalf of Ohio and other states.

"I think we have a very strong case," Alt said.

Among the Ohio businesses included in the Supreme Court case is Phillips Manufacturing and Tower in Richland County.

The owner is paying for antibody testing for her more than 100 employees to see who already has immunity from COVID-19.

Alt said a significant number of them have natural immunity.

"That's something that very much should have been part of OSHA's decision-making process if they're really concerned about keeping people safe in the workplace," Alt said.

The owner of the company expects 17 employees to quit or be fired if the mandate moves forward, which puts operations at risk.

For now, the mandate is expected to start being enforced on Monday.