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SCOTUS Blocks Broader Vaccine Mandates; Upholds For Healthcare Workers

SCOTUS Blocks Broader Vaccine Mandates; Upholds For Healthcare Workers

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.

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 07: TV equipment and reporters wait outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Capitol Hill on January 07, 2022 in Washington, DC. Today the Justices of the Supreme Court are hearing arguments against U.S. President Joe Biden’s private sector Covid-19 vaccination rules. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

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.

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