Biden’s Vaccine Mandate Is Stayed By The Supreme Court, But More Will Follow
The United States Supreme Court recently ordered an emergency stay restraining President Biden’s vaccine mandate, delivering a huge constitutional win for companies and employees around the country.
The Supreme Court found 6-3 in National Federation of Independent Business v. Department of Labor that OSHA lacked broad authority to enforce a vaccine mandate on businesses. COVID-19, the Court stated, “is not an occupational hazard” in the majority of workplaces. The Court imposed a stay of the OSHA vaccine mandate, which will remain in force throughout the ongoing litigation and will be extended if a petition for cert is granted in the future until the matter is resolved.
Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan dissented from the decision to ban OSHA from forcing unvaccinated employees at larger companies to “undergo [weekly] COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at work.” If permitted, it would have required every major corporation to need weekly verification of a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination for every employee or suffer massive fines.
However, the vaccine mandate for healthcare workers remains in place, with the Supreme Court ruling with Biden 5-4 in favor of requiring healthcare workers to get the vaccine.
The Vaccine Mandate For Healthcare Workers Is Still In Place
In a 5-4 ruling in Biden v. Missouri, the Supreme Court lifted the stay on lower court injunctions against the Secretary of Health and Human Services’ vaccine mandate for Medicare and Medicaid financed health care institutions. In other words, the Court permitted the Medicare and Medicaid vaccine mandates to take effect until the outcome of the present case and any future petition for cert that may be filed. The opinions of Justices Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, and Barrett were dissenting.
In his dissent, Justice Thomas wrote, “Today’s decision will ripple through administrative agencies’ future decision making. The Executive Branch already touches nearly every aspect of Americans’ lives. In concluding that CMS had good cause to avoid notice-and-comment rulemaking, the Court shifts the presumption against compliance with procedural strictures from the unelected agency to the people they regulate. Neither CMS nor the Court articulates a limiting principle for why, after an unexplained and unjustified delay, an agency can regulate first and listen later, and then put more than 10 million healthcare workers to the choice of their jobs or an irreversible medical treatment.”
– John Paluska, CNJ Staff