The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for large businesses, ruling that it exceeds the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s authority.
The 6-3 decision was a major victory for Republican-led states and businesses that had challenged the mandate. The mandate required that all employers with 100 or more employees require their workers to be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing.
The court’s majority opinion, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, said that the OSHA does not have the authority to impose such a mandate under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The law gives OSHA the authority to regulate “grave danger” in the workplace, but the majority said that the COVID-19 pandemic does not pose such a danger.
“OSHA’s workplace safety mission does not encompass the extraordinary step of requiring the vaccination of 84 million Americans,” Roberts wrote.
The three liberal justices dissented, arguing that the OSHA had the authority to issue the mandate. Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote that the court’s decision “will have profound consequences for the protection of workers from communicable diseases.”
The Biden administration said it was disappointed with the ruling and that it was reviewing its options. The administration could appeal the decision to the Supreme Court, but it is unclear if it will do so.
The Supreme Court’s decision is a major setback for the Biden administration’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The administration had hoped that the mandate would help to reduce the spread of the virus, but the ruling means that businesses will now be free to set their own vaccination policies.
The decision is also likely to have a ripple effect on other vaccine mandates that have been issued by state and local governments. The Supreme Court’s ruling could make it more difficult for these governments to enforce their mandates.
The decision is a victory for Republican-led states and businesses that had challenged the mandate. These states and businesses argued that the mandate was an overreach of federal power and that it violated individual liberties.
The Supreme Court’s decision is a reminder of the limits of federal power in the United States. The court has ruled that the federal government cannot impose broad mandates on businesses and individuals without clear statutory authority.
The decision is also a reminder of the importance of state and local governments in protecting public health. The Supreme Court’s ruling does not prevent states and local governments from issuing their own vaccine mandates. However, it will make it more difficult for these governments to do so.
The Supreme Court’s decision is a significant development in the ongoing debate over vaccine mandates. The decision is likely to have a major impact on the Biden administration’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and on the power of state and local governments to protect public health.