USA: Supreme Court stops vaccination mandate in companies

USA: Supreme Court stops vaccination mandate in companies

The US Supreme Court on Thursday blocked an initiative by the administration of President Joe Biden to boost the vaccination rate against COVID-19, in which employees of large companies were required to be vaccinated against the coronavirus or undergo tests. diagnose regularly and wear a mask at work sites. At the same time, the court authorized the government to proceed with the vaccination mandate for most health workers in the country, which is seeing an increase in coronavirus cases driven by the omicron variant.

The highest court’s conservative majority concluded that the federal government overstepped its authority by attempting to impose the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) rule of vaccination or diagnostic testing on businesses with at least 100 employees. More than 80 million people would have been affected. OSHA had estimated that the rule would save 6,500 lives and prevent 250,000 hospitalizations in six months.

“OSHA has never imposed such a mandate before. Neither does Congress. Indeed, while Congress has enacted significant law addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, it has refused to enact any measure similar to what OSHA has enacted here,” the conservative justices wrote in an unsigned opinion.

Instead, the three liberal justices argued that it was the highest court that was overstepping its bounds by substituting its own for the health experts’ judgments.

“By acting outside its jurisdiction and without legal basis, the Court displaces the trials of government officials who were given responsibility for responding to workplace health emergencies,” Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia wrote. Sotomayor in their joint dissent. Biden said he was “disappointed that the Supreme Court has chosen to block common-sense, life-saving requirements for employees of large companies that were grounded squarely in science and the law.”

The president asked companies to implement their own vaccination requirements, noting that a third of the 100 largest companies in the United States have already done so. The vaccination order that the court will allow to apply nationwide passed by 5 votes to 4, with the votes of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh joining those of the Liberals to form a majority. It encompasses virtually all healthcare workers in the United States. Biden said that Supreme Court decision “will save lives.”

Ben Oakley
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