On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the Biden administration’s enforcement of its overreaching vaccine requirements for large private businesses. However, the court also allowed similar requirements to stay for medical facilities that accept Medicare or Medicaid payments.
This ruling came about three days following the supposed start of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s emergency measure.
The said mandate requires workers at businesses with 100 or more employees to get vaccinated or provide a negative COVID-19 test weekly to get into their workplace. It also required unvaccinated workers to still wear a facemask while indoors at work.
OSHA issued the said mandates under the emergency powers it has that were established by Congress. The said agency can shortcut the normal rulemaking process as it can be deemed necessary by the Labor secretary for protecting the safety of workers in the workplace.
Last Friday, the Biden administration argued before the court that the mandates were needed to address the “grave danger” that the COVID-19 pandemic poses.
Three liberal justices agreed that the government should be allowed to mandate for workers to get the vaccine so that the country can deal with the rising death toll that’s coming about from the pandemic, as well as the surge in infection that’s ravaging the nation due to the omicron variant.
In the end, however, the court ruled 6-3 to block the said mandate, saying that it believes the Secretary of labor “lacked authority to impose the mandate” and that Congres should have been the one to decide.
During arguments, Chief Justice John Roberts, who was appointed by former Pres. George W. Bush, mentioned that he believes it’s hard to argue that the law from 1970 that governs OSHA “gives free rein to the agencies to enact such broad regulation.”