The U.S. Supreme Court has a long history of supporting mandates that require vaccination, but in the case of COVID-19 vaccinations, there was a lot of speculation that the Justices — a full third of whom were appointed by Donald Trump — would break with precedent.
FindLaw has explained that this case was somewhat different from previous cases before SCOTUS. For one thing, it’s been a long, long time since the Supreme Court has heard a major vaccine mandate case, but perhaps more importantly, it would be the first time an OSHA vaccine mandate applying to everyone regardless of industry was tested.
Unlike Biden’s vaccine-or-testing mandate, the previous standards addressed risks that were more tied to specific lines of work, e.g., exposure to asbestos, pesticides, carcinogens, or other chemicals that occurred at the workplace. Thus, what the Supreme Court decides will have an impact on the lives of countless American workers from across all fields rather than a select group of workers.
Sure enough, CNBC reports that SCOTUS ruled against the broader mandate, which applied to employees at any business with 100 or more employees, but did uphold the requirement for healthcare workers.
The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its sweeping vaccine-or-test requirements for large private companies, but allowed similar requirements to stand for medical facilities that take Medicare or Medicaid payments.
Conservative politicians praised the decision as a victory for liberty and the rule of law.
#SCOTUS decision in vaccine mandate case is a big victory for liberty, the rule of law, and the Constitution
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) January 13, 2022
Major victory for the rule of law. https://t.co/PjZ1lwFocs
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) January 13, 2022
President Biden’s vaccine mandate for private employees is unconstitutional and wrong. I was proud to lead the vote to overturn this illegal mandate in the Senate, and the Supreme Court blocking this mandate is a win for the liberties and livelihoods of millions of Americans.
— Senator Mike Braun (@SenatorBraun) January 13, 2022
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com