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Supreme Court Blocks Biden’s Workplace Vaccine Rules

Authored By: Lewis Wood on 1/13/2022

Source: Wall Street Journal

The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked the Biden administration’s Covid-19 vaccine-or-testing rules for large private employers, upending the government’s most aggressive effort to combat the pandemic in the workplace.

The high court, however, did give the administration more latitude in the healthcare industry, allowing it to impose a vaccine mandate for more than 10 million healthcare workers whose facilities participate in Medicare and Medicaid, a holding that leaves one part of the president’s Covid-19 playbook in place.

The private-employer requirements, for businesses with 100 or more employees, would have applied to an estimated 84 million workers. The court’s conservative majority, in an unsigned opinion, said the Biden administration likely didn’t have the unilateral power to impose a mandate that employers ensure their workers were vaccinated or tested every week for Covid-19. Three liberal justices dissented.

In allowing the vaccine mandate for healthcare workers, conservatives Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the three liberals to form a 5-4 majority, allowing that requirement to take effect nationwide.

Related: Supreme Court blocks Biden’s workplace vaccine rules, allows requirement for health-care workers (Washington Post)

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