Judge strikes Biden's vax mandate — but not for the reason you might think

In a 29-page order, U.S. district judge Gregory Van Tatenhove actually got it right on vaccine mandates — but not for reasons cited by either side of this contentious issue.

The George W. Bush nominee wrote, "This is not a case about whether vaccines are effective.  They are.  Nor is this a case about whether the government, at some level and in some circumstances, can require citizens to obtain vaccines.  It can."

Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove further made his case, writing, "The question presented here is narrow.  Can the president use congressionally delegated authority to manage the federal procurement of goods and services to impose vaccines on the employees of federal contractors and subcontractors?  In all likelihood, the answer to that question is no."  Thus, he granted the preliminary injunction requested by Ohio's, Kentucky's, and Tennessee's attorneys general.

So there you have it: an answer unanticipated by pro- or anti-vaxxers.  The rationale was too moderate for ardent vaccine opponents.  But it also was too conservative for the unlimited vaccination–supporters.

This decision fits the textbook definition of diplomacy: getting an agreement signed by two parties that neither of them likes.

This isn't to say that private non-government vendor companies cannot stick it to their employees — literally.  The ruling simply states that it is overreaching for the Executive Branch, for instance, to force all companies that accept even one dollar of Medicare or Medicaid reimbursements to toe the line.

It appears that it would have been impossible for major medical companies to stay in business if they had dared defy the mandate prior to this judge throwing them a lifeline.  To demonstrate the gargantuan scope of the importance of receiving Medicaid reimbursements, Aetna/CVSHealth alone has 2.7 million Medicaid enrollees.  That's about $18 billion of their $75.5 billion in annual revenues.  No Medicare money?  No company.  Period.  Do not pass Go.  Do not collect $200.  Indeed, our founding fathers never envisioned a government this monstrously large that would attempt to jettison the Judicial and Legislative Branches to force-feed vaccine on all of their vendors.  If alive today, our founders might have a Boston hypodermic needle party and dump all used syringes in the backyard pools of those constitutional usurpers for a taste of their own medicine.

This next statistic is almost beyond belief.  When you combine Medicaid and Medicare, it comes to nearly 60% of the total revenues of the top five insurers!  That's not a government subsidy.  On the contrary, the government is arguably the not-so-silent majority partner of the entire medical insurance industry!

It used to be said, "When E.F. Hutton speaks, people listen."  Today, far fewer business executives care what E.F Hutton is saying than they care what edicts the government is issuing.  They know painfully well that if they ignore government bullying, it's likely to their peril.

Yes, Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove got it right.

Hurray for sanity.  It won one today.

But tomorrow is another story — because the price of liberty is eternal vigilance against the myriad of power-mongers we keep electing.

Jerry McGlothlin is the founder of Special Guests, an agency specializing in booking guests on talk shows.

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

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