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Thursday, 13 January 2022 21:22

U.S. Supreme Court Blocks Biden's Private Sector Vaccine Mandate, Upholds Health Worker Mandate

Written by Dan McCaleb and Casey Harper, The Center Square

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 13 blocked the Biden administration's vaccine mandate on private sector businesses, though it allowed a separate mandate to stand for certain health care workers.

The private sector ruling came on a 6-3 vote, with the court's three liberal justices all siding with the Biden administration's argument the mandates are legal, and its majority conservative wing saying only Congress has the authority to give the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) the power to implement such a widespread federal mandate.

 

"The question before us is not how to respond to the pandemic, but who holds the power to do so. The answer is clear: Under the law as it stands today, that power rests with the States and Congress, not OSHA," justices wrote in the majority opinion.

 

OSHA implemented the private sector mandate, which was set to affect 84 million workers across the country. If the Supreme Court upheld the mandate, businesses with 100 or more employees would have been required to check the vaccine status of all of their workers. Those who were not fully vaccinated would have faced weekly COVID-19 tests. Companies who violated the mandate faced stiff fines.

 

In December, the U.S. Senate voted to rescind President Joe Biden's vaccine mandate, with two Democrats joining all Republicans in the vote. The U.S. House has not taken a vote on the matter.

 

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, who led 27 states in their lawsuit against the Biden administration, celebrated the ruling.

 

“Americans have lost too much to this disease already---all of us want this pandemic to end---but it is critical that we do not lose our Constitution, too,” Yost said. “Today’s ruling protects our individual rights and states’ rights to pursue the solutions that work best for their citizens.”

 

The court heard oral arguments Jan. 7 from administration attorneys and attorneys representing...


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