The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday blocked President Joe Biden’s Covid-19 vaccine-or-test mandate for large companies. However, the court allowed the vaccine mandate to stand for certain health care workers.
The Supreme Court’s rulings comes just three days after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s emergency measure for businesses started to take effect.
In November, OSHA had unveiled a rule requiring organizations with 100 or more employees to mandate workers be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or require workers to submit to weekly testing.
The Court, however, ruled that OSHA did not have the authority to implement such a mandate as OSHA can only “set workplace safety standards, not broad public health measures.”
“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 ruled.
“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.
President Joe Biden, in a statement, said the Supreme Court chose to block requirements that are life-saving for workers. Biden has asked states and corporate companies to implement vaccination mandates to protect workers, customers and the country.
“The Court has ruled that my administration cannot use the authority granted to it by Congress to require this measure, but that does not stop me from using my voice as President to advocate for employers to do the right thing to protect Americans’ health and economy,” Biden said.
Meanwhile, the court allowed the implementation of mandatory vaccine policy rolled out in November by the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The policy requires certain health care workers at hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities that participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs to get jabbed for Covid-19.
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