In a major blow to President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate scheme, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 against his business mandate, which was issued in November by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). All three of the Democrat-appointed justices dissented. This mandate aims to force approximately 84 million American workers to submit to the Covid jabs or face weekly testing in order to keep their jobs. For now, the ruling is suspended until the issue is litigated in the lower courts.
On the other hand, the high court ruled 5-4 that Biden’s vax mandate for healthcare workers could remain in place while it works its way through the courts. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the court’s liberal block to uphold the mandate, for now. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) mandate applies to most employees in healthcare settings that receive federal Medicaid and Medicare funding. Alaska and other states had asked the Supreme Court to block this mandate while the case is litigated. The court declined.
Alaska and a coalition of other states had also sued the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which attempted to impose the nationwide mandate on private businesses with more than 100 employees. The high court ruled that the legal challenge by Alaska and other states is likely to succeed.
Gov. Mike Dunleavy praised the court’s decision to block the OSHA mandate and expressed hope that it will eventually strike down the medical mandate as well.
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“The Supreme Court’s decision to block the OSHA vaccine mandate is a huge victory for individual, business and states’ rights,” Dunleavy stated on Jan. 13. “OSHA was exceeding its authority and the Supreme Court made the right call in the end. We hope that they view the other unconstitutional mandates in the same light.”
Dunleavy added that the state will continue to make available vaccines, therapeutics and information for Alaskans to “chart their own health decisions.”
Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor joined nine other states in November in suing the Biden Administration over the healthcare mandate. The same month, Alaska and 10 other states filed suit to stop the OSHA private employer mandate.
Taylor and the State of Alaska are also seeking to block federally mandated vaccine requirements for federal contractors and for Head Start employees.
“In its decision today, the court referred to OSHA mandate as a ‘significant encroachment’ on life and health of millions of Americans, and we continue to believe this intrusion into personal liberties shouldn’t be dictated by the federal government,” Taylor stated. “It’s unfortunate the court placed healthcare workers in a different category than other Americans, and the decision not to uphold an injunction and protect the individual freedoms of healthcare workers in Alaska could have a lasting and damaging impact on staffing and patient care at medical facilities across the state.”
Taylor noted that both cases are continuing through the lower court levels, where the goal is to “demonstrate in court that the federal government does not have the authority to impose these overarching mandates.”