A big announcement was just by the United States Supreme Court.
The court on Thursday blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its overreaching vaccine-or-test requirements for large private companies but did allow similar requirements to stand for medical facilities that take Medicare or Medicaid payments.
The ruling came three days after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) emergency measure started to be implemented.
That mandate required that workers at businesses with 100 or more employees must get vaccinated or submit a negative Covid test weekly to enter the workplace. It also required unvaccinated workers to wear masks indoors at work.
OSHA, which polices workplace safety for the Labor Department, issued the mandates under its emergency power established by Congress. OSHA can shortcut the normal rulemaking process, which can take years if the Labor secretary determines a new workplace safety standard is necessary to protect workers from grave danger.
The private employer policy was initially blocked by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in November before the 6th Circuit reinstated it in December, and the 5th and 8th Circuit Courts of Appeals blocked the healthcare policy in December—though the 5th Circuit loosened a lower court ruling that had paused the policy nationwide. While its legal fate has still been up in the air amid the Supreme Court’s consideration of it, many major employers have prepared to comply with it, with companies like Starbucks and Macy’s announcing new vaccination measures this week ahead of the Supreme Court hearing.
The Biden administration argued before the court last Friday that the rules were necessary to address the “grave danger” posed by the Covid pandemic.
The three liberal justices, openly sympathetic to the government’s position, zealously, though erroneously, agreed that the government should be allowed to force workers to be vaccinated in order to deal with the rising death toll from the pandemic and the new wave of infection rolling across the nation due to the omicron variant.
The court ruled 6-3 to block the vaccine-or-test mandate, ruling it believes the Secretary of Labor “lacked authority to impose the mandate” and it should have been left up to Congress to decide.
Chief Justice John Roberts, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, said during arguments that he thinks it’s hard to argue that the 1970 law governing OSHA “gives free reign to the agencies to enact such broad regulation.”
The vaccine-or-test rules faced a raft of lawsuits from 27 states with Republican attorneys general or governors, private businesses, religious groups and national industry groups such as the National Retail Federation, the American Trucking Associations and the National Federation of Independent Business.
The mandates were the most expansive use of power by the federal government to protect workers from Covid since the pandemic began.
Even though the U.S. Constitution in the 10th amendment “assigns powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people,” today’s ruling by the court was still a surprise to millions on the left.
This decision highlights the impact President Donald Trump’s three nominated and sitting justices will have for decades. They made the difference today by limiting the role the federal government plays in the lives of private businesses nationwide.
Written By: Eric Thompson, host of the Eric Thompson Show.