Today, January 13, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 6 to 3 to block enforcement of the Biden Administration’s Executive Order which mandated COVID vaccines or weekly COVID testing for all private sector companies with 100 or more employees. At the same time, the Court voted 5 to 4 to allow the COVID vaccine mandate for all health care facility workers if that facility takes Medicare or Medicaid payments.
The Supreme Court’s decision will stay enforcement of the mandate while the lower courts continue to hear challenges to its legality. The rulings came three days after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) emergency measure started to take effect.
The arguments that appear to have held the day for granting the stay include questions about whether a federal agency could issue a regulation with such vast economic and political significance without the clear authorization from Congress.
“Although Congress has indisputably given OSHA the power to regulate occupational dangers, it has not given that agency the power to regulate public health more broadly,” the court wrote in an unsigned opinion.
“Requiring the vaccination of 84 million Americans, selected simply because they work for employers with more than 100 employees, certainly falls in the latter category,” the court wrote.
Most business groups agreed that both vaccine rules would exacerbate labor shortages and be costly to businesses who expected many workers would quit in response to the vaccine and testing mandate.
This is breaking news. Visit RVIA.org for updates as they become available.