According to a Reuters report, two lawyers who will argue against the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate before the Supreme Court on Friday would have to do so remotely after testing positive for COVID-19.
A Louisiana Department of Justice official confirmed to Insider that Solicitor General Liz Murrill will deliver her argument by phone “in compliance with the COVID protocols of the Court,” but did not provide any information.
The Supreme Court is considering objections to the Biden administration’s federal vaccine mandates, which were announced in the fall of last year. Benjamin Flowers, the Ohio Solicitor General, will also be presenting his case from afar. Flowers’ office told Reuters that the state lawyer, who was vaccinated and boosted, is having “exceptionally minor” symptoms and has recovered, but that he tested positive for COVID-19 on a PCR test as part of the Supreme Court’s COVID-19 standards.
Biden announced the two mandates in November, and since then, Republicans have criticized the federal government for overstepping its power.
The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a regulation requiring private enterprises with more than 100 employees to be vaccinated or tested weekly for COVID-19.
The other mandate, issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of the Department of Health and Human Services, requires that all healthcare professionals employed by operations that receive specific government funding be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Sonia Sotomayor, one of the justices, was also present remotely for Friday’s arguments, although the court did not say why. Only one justice, Neil Gorsuch, did not appear in the courtroom without a mask.