The Biden administration’s continued efforts towards both vaccinating and testing people continue to be roadblocked as opposition and lawmakers continue to build barriers. In an order issued on Thursday, the Supreme Court has blocked the OSHA vaccine-or-test requirement proposed by the Biden administration. The vaccine mandate requirement would have applied to all big businesses with workers of 100 or above.
The 6-3 vote came in favor of the conservative side, the three liberal judges being; Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Stephen Breyer. The ruling argued that it was in the administration’s authority to regulate safety in a workplace in these circumstances.
The majority wrote in their statement, “Although COVID-19 is a risk that occurs in many workplaces, it is not an occupational hazard in most,” ruling once again to prevent the OSHA on behalf of the Biden administration to applying a vaccine mandate on larger employers. The statement included, “This is no ‘everyday exercise of federal power. It is instead a significant encroachment into the lives—and health—of vast number [sic] of employees. We expect Congress to speak clearly when authorizing an agency to exercise powers of vast economic and political significance. There can be little doubt that OSHA’s mandate qualifies as an exercise of such authority.”
There was however a win for the admin too, as Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the three liberal judges, voting 5-4 in favor of Biden’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers who are responsible to treat Medicare and Medicaid patients at healthcare facilities. The only exemptions applied in this case would be for religious and medical reasons.
The vaccine war has been going on within the American public, and politics for as long as the first vaccine has been approved. People urging for personal freedom are calling the requirements or any vaccine mandate an attack on their rights and freedom. Several of the legal oppositions to the mandates are Republican-led or backed. Karen Harned, the executive director of the National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center, which sued OSHA said, “Today’s decision is a welcome relief for America’s small businesses, who are still trying to get their business back on track since the beginning of the pandemic. As small businesses try to recover after almost two years of significant business disruptions, the last thing they need is a mandate that would cause more business challenges.”