|January 27, 2022|
Supreme Court blocks Biden’s vaccine-or-test mandate for large private employers
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its vaccine-or-test rule for large private employers but allowed another of the administration’s vaccine requirements for health care workers to stand.
The 6-3 vote on the private employees rule, with the court’s liberal justices in dissent, comes days after parts of the rule went into effect for 84 million workers nationwide and as companies have been grappling with how to manage their personnel while they await word from the high court.
The rule, enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, would have required employers with more than 100 workers to mandate vaccination or face weekly testing. In November, after more than a dozen state leaders sued President Joe Biden over the rule, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily halted it. But last month, after the case was reassigned to the 6th Circuit, the rule was reinstated.
The justices heard nearly four hours of arguments over the two vaccine requirements on Friday, which came to the high court amid a surge in coronavirus cases, a testing shortage and staffing strains throughout the country.
But the court voted in a 5-4 decision in favor of upholding the vaccine mandate for health care workers, which applies to the more than 17 million people across around 76,000 facilities that participate in Medicare and Medicaid. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the liberal justices in the majority.
“I am disappointed that the Supreme Court has chosen to block common-sense life-saving requirements for employees at large businesses that were grounded squarely in both science and the law,” Biden said in a statement. “This emergency standard allowed employers to require vaccinations or to permit workers to refuse to be vaccinated, so long as they were tested once a week and wore a mask at work: a very modest burden.” (Source: U.S. News)
Story Date: January 14, 2022