Last Thursday, the Supreme Court struck down a Biden administration rule requiring employees at large businesses to get vaccinated against Covid-19 or test regularly and wear a mask. In a 6-3 vote, the Court found that the administration acted outside its authority when it sought to impose the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) vaccine-or-test rule on businesses with more than 100 employees. The mandate would have affected over 80 million workers in the United States, roughly two-thirds of the American workforce. While the President expressed disappointment at the Court’s verdict, he urged private businesses to enact vaccine requirements.
Separately, the Court upheld the Biden administration’s vaccine requirement for most health care workers. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the Court’s three liberal justices in allowing the national enforcement of the mandate, which will affect over 10 million health care workers. This vaccine rule only applies to health care facilities that receive federal funding from Medicare or Medicaid. The decision will overturn two federal appeals court rulings blocking the mandate in roughly half the states. More than 208 million Americans, 62.7% of the population, are fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
As Covid-19 rips through America, the Supreme Court decided it would be an appropriate time to strike down a common-sense public health measure that protects employees in the workplace. The Court’s conservative justices manufactured a legal theory to block a rule they were ideologically opposed to. Thankfully, they upheld the Biden administration’s vaccine requirement for most health care workers, overturning the patchwork of these rules left by federal court decisions. In light of the Court’s irresponsibility, the private sector must enact robust vaccine requirements to protect the American people.
The Biden administration tried to force vaccinations on any company with more than 100 employees. If this decision stood, the executive branch would have solidified its place as the supreme rulemaker, effectively eliminating the need for a legislature. Not only would the unconstitutional mandate have millions of Americans for the crime of “having a job,” it would have bankrupted businesses that failed to comply with heavy fines.