The Biden administration hopes to require millions of American workers to be vaccinated or regularly tested for COVID-19.
The US Supreme Court is considering whether the Biden administration can require millions of workers from private companies and healthcare providers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or regularly tested for coronavirus.
On Friday, the Supreme Court justices heard more than three and a half hours of oral arguments in two challenging court cases. The power of the Biden administration Impose comprehensive vaccine requirements on major U.S. employers.
At the time of the hearing, due to the spread of the coronavirus, the number of coronavirus cases surged across the country Highly infectious variant of Omicron.
“This is something the federal government has never done before,” Chief Justice John Roberts said on Friday, skeptical of the government’s argument that the half-century established law, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, gave him broad powers.
exist problem Does the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States exceed legal requirements, that is, the government has exceeded its authority to require companies with at least 100 employees to ensure that workers are vaccinated or tested.
One Rule release A regulation issued by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in November requires companies with 100 or more employees to ensure that employees are vaccinated, and if not, test weekly and wear masks at work. There are exceptions for people who work alone or work outdoors most of the time.
Comprehensive OSHA rules, U.S. lower court support, Applicable to up to 80 million American workers, and the plan will take effect on January 10, unless the Supreme Court prevents enforcement.
Testing requirements for people who have not been vaccinated and potential fines for employers who fail to comply will begin in February.
At the same time, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a rule requiring a series of federally funded health care providers to have their employees fully vaccinated by January 4.
The rule is expected to affect more than 17 million employees of approximately 76,000 medical institutions and home healthcare providers.
Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett may decide the outcome of these two cases. Compared with the other three conservative judges, they are more likely to accept state-level vaccine requirements.
The three liberal judges of the court recommended supporting the employer rule. Judge Elena Kagan stated that officials have “verified very clearly that no other policy can prevent disease and death anywhere like this one.”
Judge Stephen Breyer stated that he found that shelving OSHA rules may be in the “public interest” “incredibly”, noting that there were 750,000 new cases of COVID-19 in the United States on Thursday, and many hospitals were overcrowded.
Roberts, Kavanaugh, and Barrett seem to have less suspicion about health care vaccine regulations.
Kavanaugh said that hospitals and healthcare organizations affected by the regulation are “not here to complain” about the rule, but to support it, which is a “very unusual situation”. “What should we do?” he asked.
Nearly 207 million Americans (62.3% of the total population) received a comprehensive vaccine, and more than one-third of them received a booster shot, including nine judges.
Andy Slavitt, a former public health adviser to the Biden administration, said that COVID-19 Vaccine requirements It is very effective for 15% to 20% of the population, “They don’t like a shot, but they will or will not have any strong opposition.”