The US Supreme Court has blocked President Joe Biden‘s rule requiring workers at large companies to be vaccinated or masked and tested weekly.
The justices at the nation’s highest court said the mandate exceeded the Biden administration’s authority. Separately they ruled that a more limited vaccine mandate could stand for staff at government-funded healthcare facilities.
The administration said the mandates would help fight the pandemic. President Biden, whose approval rating has been sagging, expressed disappointment with the decision “to block common-sense life-saving requirements for employees”.
He added: “I call on business leaders to immediately join those who have already stepped up – including one third of Fortune 100 companies – and institute vaccination requirements to protect their workers, customers, and communities. Former President Donald Trump cheered the court’s decision, and said vaccine mandates “would have further destroyed the economy”.
“We are proud of the Supreme Court for not backing down,” he said in a statement. “No mandates! The administration’s workplace vaccine mandate would have required workers to receive a Covid-19 shot, or be masked and tested weekly at their own expense.
It would have applied to workplaces with at least 100 employees and affected some 84 million workers. It was designed to be enforced by employers.
Opponents, including several Republican states and some business groups, said the administration was over-stepping its power with the requirements, which were introduced in November and immediately drew legal challenges.
Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, seen as moderates in the conservative majority, joined the liberals in allowing the healthcare rule to stand. The decision comes as the US experiences another wave of Covid-19 infections, with the Omicron variant spurring record cases and hospitalisation rates.
The Biden administration had estimated that instituting a vaccine requirement at big employers would save 6,500 lives and prevent 250,000 hospital admissions over six months.
More than 60% of Americans are fully vaccinated already. Independent of the government’s regulations, some companies, including Google, Citibank and IBM, have started to move forward with their own requirements.
But the National Federation of Independent Businesses, a lobby group that was one of the lead plaintiffs challenging the government’s workplace vaccine rule, had charged that it would burden small-business owners with new compliance costs, make it harder to fill positions and lead to lost profits and lost sales.
“Today’s decision is welcome relief for America’s small businesses, who are still trying to get their business back on track since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Karen Harned, executive director of the group’s legal arm.
In other news – Babes Wodumo reacts to Fan crushing on Mampintsha
Babes Wodumo does not play when it comes to her man and is probably aware that there are women who drool over him. Babes recently reacted to a fan who mentioned that she is crushing over her man Mampintsha.
The Gqom Queen has been on the news for the wrong reasons only and has been accused of doing things to stay relevant. Learn more