Supreme Court Blocks Biden Vaccine Mandate for Large Employers, Allows Health-Care Vaccine Requirement

Pedestrians pass the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., October 29, 2001. (Andy Clark/Reuters)

The Supreme Court temporarily suspended the Biden administration’s vaccine-or-test mandate for large employers on Thursday, but allowed the administration’s vaccine mandate for health-care workers at facilities that receive federal funding to go into effect.

In the first case, the conservative majority on the bench ruled in a 6-3 vote to block President Biden’s vaccine requirement for private businesses pending further review by the court. Biden had argued that the order derived authority from the 1971 Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), which empowered the federal government to regulate workplace health and safety standards.

However, the majority opinion, issued without an author, argued that the mandate exceeded its statutory authority and raised separation of powers concerns “in the absence of clear delegation from Congress.” It was inappropriate for the Biden administration to invoke the Emergency Temporary Standard provision of the law since it applies to very “narrow circumstances,” the Court said.

“Applicants are likely to succeed on the merits of their claim that the Secretary lacked authority to impose the mandate. Administrative agencies are creatures of statute. They accordingly possess only the authority

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