The Supreme Court just stopped enforcement of OSHA’s emergency rule that would have required employers with more than 100 staff to require that their team be vaccinated or undergo periodic testing. The court said that OSHA doesn’t have the authority to impose the vaccine or test requirement. In the unsigned opinion called National Federation of Independent Business v. OSHA the court wrote that:
Although Congress has indisputably given OSHA the power to regulate occupational dangers, it has not given that agency the power to regulate public health more broadly. Requiring the vaccination of 84 million Americans, selected simply because they work for employers with more than 100 employees, certainly falls in the latter category.
The vote on the OSHA provision was 6-3 with the usual cast of characters voting exactly as you would expect.
However, the court upheld CMS’ new requirement that people employed at health care facilities that receive federal Medicare and Medicaid be vaccinated. That measure will now take effect this month and will covers about 10 million workers nationally, about 200,000 workers in AZ.
In that case, called Biden v. Missouri the 5-4 court majority held that CMS does have the authority to implement the vaccine requirement. The majority wrote that:
The challenges posed by a global pandemic do not allow a federal agency to exercise power that Congress has not conferred upon it. At the same time, such unprecedented circumstances provide no grounds for limiting the exercise of authorities the agency has long been recognized to have.
Dissenting were Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch and Barrett.