Supreme Court blocks COVID-19 vaccination mandate for large private corporations, rule stands for healthcare workers

The Supreme Court blocked President Joe Biden's COVID-19 vaccine mandate that would require large employers to get vaccinated or have mandatory testing. Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI |

WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 13 (United Press International) — The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday blocked President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine or testing mandate for large private corporations but allowed a vaccine requirement for healthcare workers at facilities that receive federal money.

The mandate issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration called for workers at businesses with 100 or more employees to get vaccinated or submit a weekly negative COVID-19 test. It also required unvaccinated workers to wear a mask inside.

There were exceptions for workers with religious objections and employees who worked from home.

“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,” the court said, according to CNBC.

“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,” they continued.

The mandate lost on a 6 to 3 vote.

Prior to the vote, conservative-leaning justices indicated they didn’t believe President Joe Biden had the authority to task OSHA with enforcing the mandate for companies with 100 or more employees.

The Supreme Court allowed a similar mandate for medical facilities that receive Medicare or Medicaid payments.

The healthcare mandate, issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, applies to about 17 million workers at 76,000 facilities, according to the White House.


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