US Supreme Court blocks Biden OSHA vaccine mandate

The Supreme Court shown Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, in Washington. The Supreme Court is taking up two major Biden administration efforts to bump up the nation's vaccination rate against COVID-19 at a time of spiking coronavirus cases because of the omicron variant. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court has blocked the implementation of President Joe Biden’s mandate through the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to require COVID-19 vaccinations for companies with 100 more employees or submit to weekly testing. More than 80 million Americans would have had to submit to vaccinate or test order if it were successful.

When crafting the OSHA rule, White House officials always anticipated legal challenges — and privately some harbored doubts that it could withstand them. The administration nonetheless still views the rule as a success at already driving millions of people to get vaccinated and for private businesses to implement their own requirements that are unaffected by the legal challenge, the Associated Press reported.

The nation’s highest court did give the Biden administration a win, allowing it to proceed with a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for most health care workers in the U.S.

“OSHA has never before imposed such a mandate. Nor has Congress. Indeed, although Congress has enacted significant legislation addressing the COVID–19 pandemic, it has declined to enact any measure similar to what OSHA has promulgated here,” Justices Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas, and Samual Alito wrote.