After hearing arguments last week, today the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled 6-3 to block President Biden’s workplace vaccine mandate.
“I am disappointed that the Supreme Court has chosen to block common-sense life-saving requirements for employees at large businesses that were grounded squarely in both science and the law,” said Biden.
According to the executive order, businesses with over 100 workers would be required to mandate employees to receive a vaccination against Covid-19, or submit to weekly testing.
The administration cited its power through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which can enact emergency rules to protect workers from “substances or agents determined to be toxic or physically harmful or from new hazards.”
Citing the OSH Act of 1970, the Biden administration stated that it believed it had full authority to enact a mandate that would protect employees in the workplace.
“The Congress declares it to be its purpose and policy, through the exercise of its powers to regulate commerce among the several States and with foreign nations and to provide for the general welfare, to assure so far as possible every working man and woman in the Nation safe and healthful working conditions and to preserve our human resources,” the law reads.
However, justices stated that using the law was too broad and therefore not applicable to Covid-19 regulations.
The majority opinion stated that while Covid-19 can be spread nearly anywhere people gather, this “risk is no different from the day-to-day dangers that all face from crime, air pollution, or any number of communicable diseases.”
Although this is a huge blow to the administration’s attempt at controlling spread of the virus, a separate ruling from the court said that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) mandate could be upheld, which would apply to employees working at government-funded healthcare facilities.
Since being introduced, vaccine mandates have seen great opposition from several Republican states and certain businesses.
Lawsuits against the mandate have been filed all across the country since President Biden signed the executive order in September of 2021.
Arguments against the mandate stated that the government does not have the authority to enact such a ruling and by doing so, is overstepping its control.
The Pew Research Center shows that all 50 states and the District of Columbia currently mandate immunizations against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, measles, rubella, and chickenpox for children and teens. Additionally, every state except Iowa has mandated the mumps vaccine.