🇺🇸 Oral Arguments
January 10, 2022

Good morning, and happy Monday! Researchers are developing a new Alzheimer’s treatment that uses artificial intelligence to “clean” the brain’s nerve cells. Scientists say Alzheimer’s disease is partially caused by the degeneration and loss of these cells, as their waste management function stops working. Tests performed on worms and mice showed no side effects.

Plus, scientists in Israel placed a tank on wheels to find out how well goldfish can “drive.” Motion detection software was used and the fish earned food rewards for hitting targets. They eventually hit their mark around once every two minutes, and some say future experiments like this could see rats piloting submarines.

Flag Polls


ab521640-e2ad-6400-4ea0-8848d603c575.png 1/7: Biden Job Approval, Rasmussen Reports Approve 43, Disapprove 57
ab521640-e2ad-6400-4ea0-8848d603c575.png 1/5: Biden Job Approval, Economist/YouGov Approve 43, Disapprove 51
D 1/5: Gen. Congress Vote, Economist/YouGov Republicans 38,
Democrats 42
D 1/4: Gen. Congress Vote, USA Today/Suffolk Republicans 37,
Democrats 39

Trending On The Left


Washington Post: Ted Cruz, Tucker Carlson and the Jan. 6 ‘terrorism’ question

Huff Post: Up To 1 Million COVID Tests Expired In FL As DeSantis Kept Mum On Surging Cases

Mother Jones: Mike Pence. Stephen Miller. SCOTUS. Vaccine Mandates. What Could Go Wrong?

Trending On The Right


Daily Wire: Swalwell Boasts About Holding Gas Mask, Ready To ‘Fight’ On January 6. He Gets Roasted.

Fox News: AOC tests positive for COVID-19 after partying in Miami maskless

Washington ExaminerParents sue public school officials over 'illegal' student mask mandate

SUPREME COURT

Oral Arguments

On Friday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in challenges to two federal vaccine requirements affecting tens of millions of workers.

Reporting from The Left: “The federal government has never before tried to impose a vaccine-or-test policy … the justices have generally been supportive of vaccination requirements by local governments and universities … but the court has also been skeptical when it comes to federal agency power generally, and with respect to the pandemic." (The Washington Post)

Reporting from The Right: “... the issue represents not only the current administration's evolving response to the pandemic but also could serve as a legal template to the regulatory limits of the governments across a range of future disputes … what powers do federal – and state – governments have in a national emergency?” (Fox News)

From The Flag: Here’s what both sides are saying about vaccine mandates and the legal debate surrounding them.

RIGHT-LEANING SENTIMENT

Vaccine Mandate Oversteps Federal Authority, Violates Law


Right-leaning commentators maintain the federal vaccine mandate is an overreach and violation of existing laws. They acknowledge the pandemic grants extraordinary powers but say administrative processes must be followed as well.

“Supreme Stakes on Vaccine Mandates” Editorial Board, The Wall Street Journal: “... the stakes are larger than pandemic policy. This is a crucial test of how far the administrative state can go in stretching ambiguous statutes for its own political ends. ... The Administration wants the Justices to defer to regulators and uphold the mandates as necessary to protect Americans during an emergency. But emergency or not, federal agencies can’t exercise powers not granted by Congress, especially when they ignore proper administrative process. ... The Court’s ruling in this case will echo into the future about how far the executive branch can go in rewriting statutes. Some Justices will be tempted to defer to the executive given the pandemic emergency. But Presidents have been increasingly eager to find emergencies whenever they are politically convenient."

"The Supreme Court and Biden’s legally dubious vax mandate ‘workaround’" Jacob Sullum, New York Post op-ed: "The contrast between that broader goal and the legal justification for the employer mandate is at the center of the debate about whether the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has the authority to impose it. ... OSHA’s rule, which it published Nov. 5, demands that companies with 100 or more employees require them to be vaccinated or wear face masks and undergo weekly virus testing. ... But OSHA has no such authority. Officially, its rule is an ‘emergency temporary standard’ that is ‘necessary’ to protect employees from a ‘grave danger’ in the workplace. That characterization, if accepted by the courts, allows OSHA to exercise the sort of public-health powers that are ordinarily reserved to the states. It also allows the agency to issue regulations that take effect immediately, without the notice, public comments and hearings that are usually required.”

"The Federal Government Doesn't Have the Power to Issue a Vaccine Mandate" Erin Hawley, Newsweek op-ed: "While the federal government is within its right to encourage vaccine development, distribution, and inoculation, it cannot ignore constitutional protections and safeguards, even during national emergencies. That is what this federal vaccine-or-test mandate does, and why it's unlawful." Keep reading.

LEFT-LEANING SENTIMENT

Checking the Conservative Majority via Vaccine Mandate


Left-leaning commentators consider the case a litmus test for not only limits on federal power but concerning the court’s conservative majority as well. They acknowledge the decision may instruct the lower court’s thinking and foreshadow what’s to come in other Supreme Court cases. Finally, some worry the mandate could be struck down and in turn harm the pandemic response.

"These Supreme Court arguments are about far more than vaccine mandates" Jennifer Rodgers, CNN: “... prior decisions and analyses of the Court in mandate-related cases are not particularly helpful in predicting what the justice will do. Nor will the rulings here necessarily affect further efforts by states, localities, and private businesses to determine their own vaccination policies. Instead, the potential importance of the rulings here could be in foreshadowing the conservative majority's view of executive power: specifically, how much control the federal government has over rule-making, an issue which obviously applies to legal questions far beyond vaccine mandates. ... As a result, the ruling may provide a window into the court's thinking that may be instructive to lower courts and serve as a precursor of what will happen when the court is faced with the same or a similar issue in the future."

"The Government’s Ability to Control the Pandemic Is at Stake" Wendy Parmet, New York Times op-ed: "Although the legal case for the regulations seems strong, as several appellate courts have found, the government’s victory is not assured. Over the past year, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority has shown little inclination to sustain COVID mitigation measures. ... History has repeatedly shown that many of the country’s most pressing health problems, from pollution to pandemics, cross state lines and cannot be addressed by states alone. States also lack the resources to respond adequately to natural disasters or finance the rapid development and distribution of new vaccines. ... Perhaps, in our pandemic weariness, people no longer want a federal government capable of providing even a modest degree of public health protection. ... The desire by some justices for a smaller federal government that is less able to protect public health should not influence their ruling."

“Can OSHA Keep Workers Safe? The Court Hears the Case...” Debbie Berkowitz, The American Prospect: "Had OSHA’s standard not been stayed by the most conservative circuit court, the number of COVID cases and deaths would have been reduced." Keep reading.

FLAG THIS

Polling Even on Mandates Overall, Clear Partisan Divide


Polling shows a clear partisan divide regarding employer vaccine mandates, with 78% of Democrats in favor compared with just 30% of Republicans. Just over 50% of all respondents believe it should be illegal to deny service or employment to the unvaccinated (Axios-Ipsos).

A different poll found 50% of voters support President Biden’s vaccine mandate (Wall Street Journal).

Flag Polls: Where do you stand on the federal vaccine mandate? Sound off in the comments here. Click here to share your thoughts.

POWERED BY THOROGOOD

These Boots Are Made for Working

As winter sets in, every rugged man needs a good set of work boots. Tough, reliable, and made of 100% durable oil-tanned leather, Thorogood American Heritage work boots have a moccasin-stitched non-safety toe design. They also come with a removable ultimate shock absorption footbed, which wicks away moisture and directly supports the heel and ball of the foot. Carpenters, farmers, mechanics, plumbers, and electricians will all appreciate the Goodyear welt construction seal, which makes for a strong but flexible boot with six inches of ankle support. They're more flexible than most work boots but still effectively absorb impact, keeping your feet and ankles safe. No matter the surface—oily, flat, wet, or loose gravel—you'll stay on your feet. Boot up here.

US & WORLD

RIP Bob Saget, US and Russia Huddling over Ukraine, Chicago Mayor Clashes with Union

Fox News: Actor Bob Saget is dead after being found in a hotel room in Orlando on Sunday. The sheriff's office said that detectives found no signs of foul play or drug use.

USA Today: With the fate of Ukraine and potentially broader post-Cold War European stability at stake, the United States and Russia are holding strategic talks that could shape the future of not only their relationship but the US relationship with its NATO allies. Prospects are bleak.

Chicago Tribune: Chicago Public Schools canceled classes for the fourth school day in a row as Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Chicago Teachers Union continued negotiating on a potential reopening of city schools.

AP: More than 800,000 noncitizens and “Dreamers” in New York City will have access to the ballot box — and could vote in municipal elections as early as next year — after Mayor Eric Adams allowed legislation to automatically become law Sunday.

NYP: At least 19 people were killed — including nine children —  when the city’s deadliest fire in more than 30 years tore through a Bronx apartment high-rise Sunday morning. FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said a malfunctioning electric space heater appeared to be the cause.

ESPN: Novak Djokovic's parents joined a protest rally Sunday in downtown Belgrade with their son still in an Australian immigration detention hotel as fans of Djokovic in Serbia nervously awaited a crucial court hearing that could decide whether he can play at the Australian Open.

Daily Mail: Expert predicts up to 5 million could skip work this week with COVID, putting strain on businesses and transport.

NBC: Colombian Victor Escobar became the first person in the Andean country with a non-terminal illness to die by legally regulated euthanasia.

WATERCOOLER

Oil Industry Begins, Taco Subscription, Papal Typo

On January 10, 1901, a drilling derrick at Spindletop Hill near Beaumont, Texas, produced an enormous gusher of crude oil, coating the landscape for hundreds of feet and signaling the advent of the American oil industry. Above is a photograph of the gusher at Spindletop Hill.

Mental Floss: Taco Bell Wants to Sign You Up for a Monthly $10 Taco Subscription

The Atlantic: The Truth About Prohibition

Fast Company: This Scheduling Strategy Can Save You Hours Per Week

Today I Learned that in 2013 the Vatican had to pull 6000 papal medals from sale because the inscription said “Lesus“ instead of “Jesus.”

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