The Supreme Court is stopping the rule of vaccination against COVID-19 for American companies

A conservative majority of the court concluded that the administration had exceeded its powers by trying to impose a vaccine or occupational health and safety test on American companies.

(Dana Verkouteren) This art sketch depicts lawyer Scott Keller, who is defending himself on behalf of more than two dozen business groups seeking an immediate order from the Supreme Court to stop an order from the Biden administration imposing a vaccine or testing requirements on large countries. employers during the COVID-19 pandemic, at the Supreme Court in Washington, January 7, 2022.

Washington • The Supreme Court has stopped the Biden administration from enforcing the requirement that large company employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing and wear a mask at work.

The court also allows the administration to move to a vaccination mandate for most health care professionals in the United States

Utah Republicans applauded the decision to block demands on private companies, which they saw as excessive government intervention.

Thursday’s court orders during the increase in coronavirus cases were a mixed bag for the administration’s efforts to increase vaccination coverage among Americans.

A conservative majority of the court concluded that the administration had exceeded its powers by trying to introduce an Office of Occupational Safety and Health vaccine rule or test on U.S. companies with at least 100 employees. More than 80 million people would be affected.

“OSHA has never imposed such a mandate before. Congress doesn’t either. Although Congress passed major legislation addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, it refused to enact any measures similar to those announced by OSHA, “the Conservatives wrote in an unsigned opinion.

In disagreement, three court liberals argued that it was the court that exaggerated when it replaced the verdict of health experts with its verdict. “The court acts outside its jurisdiction and without a legal basis and replaces the judgments of government officials with regard to the responsibility to respond to workplace health emergencies,” Judges Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor said in a common disagreement.

When creating the OSHA rule, White House officials have always anticipated legal challenges – and in private, some doubted whether he could resist them. However, the administration still sees the rule as a success that has already led millions to vaccinations, and private companies have introduced their own requirements that are not affected by the legal challenge.

Both rules were challenged by Republican-led states. In addition, business groups have challenged OSHA’s emergency regulation as too expensive and are likely to cause workers to leave their jobs at a time when it is already difficult to find new employees.

The vaccine’s mandate, which the court will allow to be enforced nationwide, has been scrapped 5: 4, with Chief Justice John Roberts and Judge Brett Kavanaugh joining the Liberals to form a majority. The mandate covers virtually all healthcare professionals in the country and applies to providers who receive federal Medicare or Medicaid funding. It potentially affects 76,000 health care facilities as well as home health care providers. The rule has medical and religious exceptions.

In an online video, Senator Mike Lee was thrilled with the verdict, calling it “a great win for the American people, the Constitution and freedom.”

“They tried to create a law through an executive agency. Federal bureaucrats have no power to make laws. The Supreme Court has closed it, “Lee said.

Senate President Stuart Adams, R-Layton, said “the Supreme Court misunderstood Thursday’s decision,” but was disappointed to leave the order for health workers to stand.

“The government should not prescribe medical decisions,” Adams said.

The challenges posed by the global pandemic do not allow the federal agency to exercise power that Congress has not entrusted to it. At the same time, such unprecedented circumstances provide no reason to limit the exercise of powers that the agency has long recognized, “the court wrote in an unsigned opinion, stating that there is a” last resort “in healthcare cases.

Judge Clarence Thomas wrote in the dissent that the case concerned whether the administration had the power to “force health professionals to undergo medical treatment under pressure from their employers, which they do not want and cannot return”. He said the administration had not convincingly demonstrated that Congress had given it this power.

Judges Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett signed Thomas’ opinion. Alito wrote a separate dissent, to which the other three conservatives joined.

Decisions of the Federal Court of Appeals of New Orleans and St. Louis blocked the mandate in about half of the states. The administration has already taken steps to enforce it elsewhere.

More than 208 million Americans, 62.7% of the population, are fully vaccinated, and more than a third have been revaccinated, according to the Federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention. All nine judges received reinforcements.

Judges heard arguments about the calls last week. Their questions then indicated the division of the verdict they handed down on Thursday.

A separate vaccination mandate for federal contractors, which was suspended after it was blocked by lower courts, has not been heard by the Supreme Court.

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