U.S. Supreme Court blocks Biden vaccine-or-test policy WASHINGTON, Jan 13 (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday blocked President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccination-or-testing mandate for large businesses – a policy the conservative justices deemed an improper imposition on the lives and health of many Americans – while endorsing a separate federal vaccine requirement for healthcare facilities.
In an unsigned ruling, the court said the rule affecting large businesses, issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), was not an ordinary use of federal power. “It is instead a significant encroachment on the lives – and health – of a vast number of employees,” the court said.
The court found that OSHA lacked proper authority to issue the vaccine requirements as they fall outside of the scope of the workplace. “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,” the unsigned majority opinion stated.
Supreme Court Blocks Biden Vaccine Mandate for Large Employers, Allows Health-Care Vaccine Requirement The majority opinion, issued without an author, argued that the mandate exceeded its statutory authority and raised separation of powers concerns “in the absence of clear delegation from Congress.” Moreover, the Court declared that the OSHA mandate was far too broad in treating all commercial sectors the same. While the order includes narrow exceptions for remote workers or those who work exclusively outdoors, “the regulation otherwise operates as a blunt instrument,” the court said. “It draws no distinctions based on industry or risk of exposure to COVID–19.”
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