White House chief of staff Ron Klain’s itchy Twitter finger helped derail the Biden administration’s latest vaccine mandate in court.
A Sept. 9 retweet from Klain was cited as a key piece of evidence in the blistering ruling issued Friday by the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, which paused President Biden’s “staggeringly overbroad” rule forcing COVID-19 vaccines on millions of American workers.
In a footnote, the three-judge panel pointed to Klain’s retweet of a post from MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle, who praised Biden’s mandate — enforced by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration — as “the ultimate work-around” to avoid sticky constitutional challenges.
Circuit Judge Kurt Engelhardt characterized the retweet as a White House “endorsement of the term ‘work-around’” — leading the panel to block the mandate on just those legal grounds.
“The public interest is … served by maintaining our constitutional structure and maintaining the liberty of individuals to make intensely personal decisions according to their own convictions,” Engelhardt wrote.
It’s the second time in recent weeks that Klain has made headlines for an ill-considered retweet.
He was bashed in October for approvingly quote-tweeting a post from Harvard economist Jason Furman that described rising inflation and nationwide supply-chain woes as “high class problems.”
The Department of Justice pledged Saturday to “vigorously defend” the mandate in court.
“This decision is just the beginning of the process for review of this important OSHA standard,” a DOJ spokesperson said, according to Fox News. “The Department will continue to vigorously defend the standard and looks forward to obtaining a definitive resolution following consolidation of all of the pending cases for further review.”