Monday, January 10, 2022

Supreme Court Weighs in on Vaccine Mandate

By Leslie Stimson, Inside Towers Washington Bureau Chief
The Supreme Court on Friday weighed in on whether a vaccine-related mandate from the administration governing large businesses can move forward, putting on display both the national divide over COVID-19 vaccination and highlighting the latest surge, driven by the Omicron variant. While most of the conservative justices sounded sympathetic to business interests and Republican-led states trying to block the rule, liberal justices sounded floored at the arguments that the rule should be stopped, noted Politico.

The broad mandate, from the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) division, requires employers with 100 or more employees to ensure that their workers are vaccinated or tested weekly and wear masks at work. Business owners and Republican state attorneys general sued to block the rule and the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in that challenge.

"There were three quarters of a million new cases yesterday. That’s 10 times as many as when OSHA put this rule in," Justice Stephen Breyer, an appointee of President Bill Clinton, said. Noting that most hospitals are almost full, he said: “I would find it unbelievable that it could be in the public interest to suddenly stop these vaccinations." Continue Reading

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