Supreme Court seems skeptical of Biden’s vaccine mandates

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The Supreme Court on Friday appeared likely to curtail the Biden administration’s most comprehensive mandate for COVID-19 vaccination.

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big picture: Most of the judges were of the view that the Biden administration’s rules, which require employers to mandate vaccines or tests for workers, are too broad.

Running news: The Occupational Health and Safety Administration has said that employers with more than 100 workers will require their employees to either be vaccinated or tested every week.

  • Business owners and the Republican state attorney general sued to block those rules, and the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in that challenge on Friday.
  • The court’s conservative majority seemed generally uneasy with the scope of OSHA’s requirement, questioning whether it should have been applied only to certain, high-risk businesses or whether it would exceed the agency’s authority. was done.

Between the lines: Questions from the six conservative judges left some ambiguity about what the court might say in its decision.

  • But it did not appear that the five judges were on the balance in OSHA’s favor.
  • The court has allowed several states’ vaccine mandates to take effect, but conservative judges who upheld those rules were more skeptical of the federal government’s ability to enforce similar mandates.

What will happen next: The court is also hearing arguments on Friday on a separate vaccine requirement, which applies only to health care facilities.

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