The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked a key Biden administration covid-19 initiative — putting a stop, for now, to a rule requiring businesses with more than 100 workers to either mandate that employees be vaccinated against covid or wear masks and undergo weekly testing. This rule covers approximately 80 millions of workers.
At the same time, however, the justices said that a separate rule requiring covid vaccines for an estimated 10 million health workers at facilities that receive funding from Medicare and Medicaid could go forward. A temporary halt that was imposed late last year by a lower court on health care facilities in half of the states was lifted by the justices.
In emergency oral arguments , Jan. 7, a majority the justices appeared to be skeptical that the federal government through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration had sufficient authority to require vaccines and tests for the bulk private sector, especially for a threat not job-specific.
Said unsigned majority opinion : “A mandate to get vaccinated is strikingly different from the workplace regulations OSHA has often imposed.” After all, a vaccination ‘cannot unfinished at the end the workday
Three conservative justices of the court — Justices Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas — endorsed the decision in a signed opinion expressing concerns about OSHA. They wrote that the agency claimed the power to make 84 millions of Americans get vaccinated or go through regular testing. They wrote that this is a claim of power to solve a national problem of immense importance. OSHA .”
has not been given so much power by Congress.
Liberals at the court, where anti-covid laws are even stricter that those up for discussion in this case, were furious at the majority decision. They argued that the federal safety agency should regulate the threat because it exists both outside and inside the workplace.
Justices Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan wrote that “When we’re wise, we don’t know to overrule the judgments made by experts, acting within Congress’s sphere and under the Presidential control, to address emergency situations.” We are not wise .”
In the second case, also argued Jan. 7, justices considered whether the federal government could impose conditions on Medicare and Medicaid payments to ensure safety for the patients underwritten.
The health worker rule stated that the opinion ,, also unsigned, “fits nicely within the language” of the statute. As such, providers must ensure that they do not transmit a virus to patients. This is consistent with the basic principle of the medical profession: First, don’t harm
Four conservative justices — Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett — dissented in the health worker case, argui