Updated: Friday, 1/14/2022 @ 09:45 am
Washington, DC –
The United States Supreme Court just blocked the vaccine and testing requirements that were proposed by President Joe Biden. The requirements are aimed at bigger businesses. The block resulted in the proposal of enforcing a vaccine-or-testing mandate for large employers. This is a huge backslide for the White House plan to deal with the coronavirus as more and more states are reporting a rapid rise in Omicron variant cases. This plan was announced on September 9, 2021, as President Biden stated it was “a new plan to require more Americans to be vaccinated.” On the other hand, many Americans as well as pro-choice activists have called this a huge win for them.
The ruling in the bigger business mandate case was 6 to 3 not in favor. The only three in favor of it were the following justices: Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. All three justices are known to be liberal.
This blocked mandate proposal would have affected over 84 million employees and only companies with at least 100 employees. The Secretary of Labor recently enacted this mandatory vaccination through Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The only exception to the vaccine mandate enacted by OSHA was that workers must comply with a weekly Covid test and wear masks while at work.
The Supreme Court official ruling by Justice Kavanaugh stated, “OSHA has never before imposed such a mandate. Nor has Congress. Indeed, although Congress has enacted significant legislation addressing the COVID–19 pandemic, it has declined to enact any measure similar to what OSHA has promulgated here.”
Thus, the primary decision for the OSHA requirement was split and therefore the proposal was “stayed.” However, the states are back in power on the issue of bigger businesses requiring vaccine mandates for bigger businesses.
The main concurrence that all justices agreed upon was as Justice Gorsuch stated, “The question before us is not how to respond to the pandemic, but who holds the power to do so.” Many agreed that the power was not with the courts as they have limited training and expertise in such fields of health. However, there was a split in who truly holds that power. Most of Justices sided with the Congress and House of Representatives having that power as written by law. But some argued it is not with the Congress and House.
However, the win was short-lived for pro-choice supporters as another proposal by President Biden was passed with a vote of 5-4. This proposal requires workers at health care facilities that are receiving federal monies and assistance must be vaccinated. The two who switched over joining the liberal three on supporting the proposal were Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh.
This passing proposal is more limited and does not allow as much of power for the Federal Government. Even with the limited capabilities of the proposal, President Biden replied this was a win, but still “disappointed” with the block of the employer vaccine mandate which he described as a proposal of “common sense” and should be enacted.
“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court to uphold the requirement for health care workers will save lives. The lives of patients who seek care in medical facilities, as well as the lives of doctors, nurses, and others who work there,” replied Biden through a written statement.
Biden also stated he will continue to push forward his agenda in making vaccinations mandatory and will invite all larger employers to continue to implement such workplace mandates, as the employer still retains rights to require such vaccination mandates, as long as they are in compliance with the OSHA workplace Covid-19 mandates.
For more information, the link below is to the official US Supreme Court Justices Rulings: