SCOTUS Shoots Down Biden Vaxx Mandate. Here’s What They Said
The Supreme Court of the United States has blocked President Joe Biden's vaccine mandate for employers with at least 100 employees.
In a decision announced Thursday, the Court blocked the vaccine mandate by a 6-3 margin, with all conservative justices voting to stop the mandate, and the three liberal justices siding with the President.
In early November, the President, via the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) ordered all companies with at least 100 employees to ensure that they were either vaccinated against COVID-19 or tested weekly. The order was supposed to have taken effect January 4.
Here are the key points of the majority decision:
"The Solicitor General (representing the government) does not dispute that OSHA is limited to regulating “work-related dangers.” She instead argues that the risk of contracting COVID 19 qualifies as such a danger. We cannot agree. Although COVID 19 is a risk that occurs in many workplaces, it is not an occupational hazard in most. COVID 19 can and does spread at home, in schools, during sporting events, and everywhere else that people gather. That kind of universal risk is no different from the day-to-day dangers that all face from crime, air pollution, or any number of communicable diseases. Permitting OSHA to regulate the hazards of daily life - simply because most Americans have jobs and face those same risks while on the clock - would significantly expand OSHA’s regulatory authority without clear congressional authorization.
"We do not doubt, for example, that OSHA could regulate researchers who work with the COVID-19 virus. So too could OSHA regulate risks associated with working in particularly crowded or cramped environments. But the danger present in such workplaces differs in both degree and kind from the everyday risk of contracting COVID-19 that all face. OSHA’s indiscriminate approach fails to account for this crucial distinction - between occupational risk and risk more generally - and accordingly the mandate takes on the character of a general public health measure, rather than an 'occupational safety or health standard.'
"It is telling that OSHA, in its half century of existence, has never before adopted a broad public health regulation of this kind - addressing a threat that is untethered, in any causal sense, from the workplace. This 'lack of historical precedent,' coupled with the breadth of authority that the Secretary now claims, is a 'telling indication' that the mandate extends beyond the agency’s legitimate reach.
"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."