President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccination-or-testing mandate has been blocked by the Supreme Court in a 6-3 decision, giving large private businesses much-needed clarity.
The mandate required unvaccinated workers to wear masks at indoor jobs and required businesses with 100 or more employees to be vaccinated or test for COVID-19 Weekly. It was set to go into effect on January 10.
Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Stephen Breyer, the liberal judges on the court, dissented.
The court’s unsigned opinion read in part:
“Although Congress has indisputably given OSHA the power to regulate occupational dangers, it has not given that agency the power to regulate public health more broadly…Requiring the vaccination of 84 million Americans, selected simply because they work for employers with more than 100 employees, certainly falls in the latter category.”
Chuck Lippstreu, president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association issued a statement saying in part:
“Businesses across Michigan continue to grapple with historic labor and supply chain crises, and a federal vaccine mandate would have created even more disruption. Today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision provides our state’s rural businesses with a degree of certainty about the future. While we encourage Michiganders to get vaccinated on a voluntary basis, mandates will not further this goal and will create new disruption in the economy.”
President Biden voiced his displeasure with the ruling, saying this decision by the Supreme Court now leaves the decision to require vaccinations relies in the hands of individual states and employers.