BREAKING: Supreme Court Strikes Down Biden's Vaccine Mandate

BREAKING: Supreme Court Strikes Down Biden's Vaccine Mandate

The Supreme Court has blocked President Joe Biden’s vaccine-or-test mandate for private businesses, crushing a key part of his strategy to fight the COVID-19 pandemic as detractors argued, and the Supreme Court agreed, the mandate violates Americans’ freedoms.

The court did allow for the mandate to take effect at hospitals and health care facilities that are federally funded.

“OSHA has never before imposed such a mandate. Nor has Congress. Indeed, although Congress has enacted significant legislation addressing the COVID–19 pandemic, it has declined to enact any measure similar to what OSHA has promulgated here,” the conservative majority on the court said, The Associated Press reported.

“Acting outside of its competence and without legal basis, the Court displaces the judgments of the Government officials given the responsibility to respond to workplace health emergencies,” the court’s liberal Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor said in a joint dissent.

When crafting the OSHA rule, White House officials always anticipated legal challenges — and privately some harbored doubts that it could withstand them. The administration nonetheless still views the rule as a success at already driving millions of people to get vaccinated and for private businesses to implement their own requirements that are unaffected by the legal challenge.

Both rules had been challenged by Republican-led states. In addition, business groups attacked the OSHA emergency regulation as too expensive and likely to cause workers to leave their jobs at a time when finding new employees already is difficult.

The vaccine mandate that the court will allow to be enforced nationwide scraped by on a 5-4 vote, with Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh joining the liberals to form a majority. The mandate covers virtually all health care workers in the country, applying to providers that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid funding. It potentially affects 76,000 health care facilities as well as home health care providers. The rule has medical and religious exemptions.

The challenges posed by a global pandemic do not allow a federal agency to exercise power that Congress has not conferred upon it. At the same time, such unprecedented circumstances provide no grounds for limiting the exercise of authorities the agency has long been recognized to have,” the court wrote in an unsigned opinion, saying the “latter principle governs” in the healthcare cases.

But Justice Clarence Thomas penned a dissent to that ruling, signed by fellow conservative Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett.

He said that the case was about the administration insisting it has the authority “to force healthcare workers, by coercing their employers, to undergo a medical procedure they do not want and cannot undo.”

He said that the Biden administration failed to show that Congress had granted it that authority.


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