Supreme Court Quashes Biden’s Covid-19 Vaccine Mandate for Employers With at Least 100 Employees

In a 6 to 3 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday throttled President Biden’s federal vaccination mandate, requiring that employers with at least 100 employees had to mandate Covid-19 vaccinations or submit to weekly testing. In a per curium decision, which means that the author of the decision is not named, the Court sent the case back to the lower courts for a ruling on the merits but effectively killed it.

The contested mandate, dubbed the Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard, went into effect on Monday, but had been widely criticized, including by members of the business community. The National Federation of Independent Business, a small business trade group, is the main plaintiff in the suit, upon which the High Court ruled, against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the federal agency tasked with administering the mandates.

The Supreme Court held that OSHA overstepped its bounds, writing that requiring “84 million Americans to either obtain a Covid-19 vaccine or undergo weekly medical testing at their own expense…is no everyday exercise of federal powers.”

To keep reading, click here: Supreme Court Quashes Biden’s Covid-19 Vaccine Mandate for Employers With at Least 100 Employees

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12 thoughts on “Supreme Court Quashes Biden’s Covid-19 Vaccine Mandate for Employers With at Least 100 Employees

  1. One thing this article has covered is the point that every employer should have an effective Covid plan in place to ensure that both the workplace setting and the employees have a safe work environment so that businesses can proceed to keep operating. Let’s eliminate the anxiety aspect out of the situation and put logical tactics in place. The idea is to allow employees the decision to be responsible towards creating safety for both themselves and others. One thing I hope will occur is a better working place environment without being pressurized to work when sick, by giving options to the employees to keep job while taking time off. The options will include ways to use paid time off and non paid time off optionsbut also help both the employer and the employee to avoid abuse of time. There still will be requirements to keep job–such as timely follow-up when an employee seems to have questionable time off during key work performance periods. The follow-up should help evaluate for both the employee and employer as to how well they are a good fit without negativity.
    What today’s 1/13/22, decision in the Supreme Court did was put the method of mandate back on the individual states whose laws would be applied, rather than make it a federal mandate which can’t occur without legislation by Congress. In simple terms, Congress would have to pass a federal law to mandate OSHA to make a requirement for the vaccines, an executive request is not a law

  2. This ruling comes as no surprise to anyone who listened to the oral arguments before the Supreme Court. It’s still a major disappointment, though, as it drives a wooden stake into the heart of OSHA’s ability to issue emergency relief. If a pandemic that’s killed almost 900,000 Americans does not constitute a grave enough threat to justify OSHA’s acting, then nothing ever could. The argument that COVID-19 is not a workplace threat because it can be caught anywhere totally ignores the reality that people can, usually, control their non-work access to specific locales, such as grocery stores, but have much less control over the workplaces where they are required to spend much more time, and which — up to now — had a general duty, under OSHA law, to provide safe work environments. The application of the Major Question Doctrine, finding that only the political branch of Government — Congress — has the power to regulate the issue, flies in the face of the reality that the Executive Branch, including OSHA, is headed up by a President elected in an election in which the number one issue identified by voters was the pandemic. The voters have already spoken — loud and clear — on that issue. It was wrong for COVID-19 to ever be politicized; likewise, the Supreme Court, and now we are reaping the whirlwind. A Worldwide pandemic, requiring an organized, coordinated, response, will now — in America, at least — be consigned to the chaotic, Balkanized, contradictory, responses of individual locales and employers. This decision does lasting damage to not only the fight against COVID-19, but also to the long-term rights of the working men and women of America.

    1. IMO the argument that had the biggest weight and made the most sense to me was the fact that you can remove steel toe boots, goggles, gloves etc when you leave the workplace. You can’t take off the vaccine. That and we obviously cannot now use the excuse that the unvaccinated are the only ones walking around spreading the virus – we now know without a doubt that is not true. So please tell me how it was about safety?

      The sheer volume of information coming from science – and the CDC, WHO etc right now that contradicts all that we have been told is enough to make those leery of the vaccine dig in deeper. At my workplace we have had a rash of covid in the last 3 weeks and all have been vaccinated. Ontario Canada health page now has their hospitalizations broken out by vaccinated and un – those stats are very enlightening. In hospital (non icu) unvaccinated 698 and vaccinated 1894. I wish more data like this was available. Also the new information that we’ve (finally) been given that 75% of those that died from covid had 4 or more comorbidities. We are finding out that no one was doing any early treatment – just telling people to drink fluids and rest – when early treatment can keep you out of the hospital (and I’m not talking ivermectin etc). My Dr told me the same – but that she had a treatment regimen of over the counter and prescription meds that she would have for any of her patients if they tested positive. This whole thing has been handled poorly and putting the boot down on people or telling them they no longer had a job (for safety????) was wrong no matter how you look at it. Unfortunately the truth outran the narrative (that the unvaccinated were the great evil).

      1. Why would anyone even want to “take off the vaccine” when they leave the workplace? The fact is that those vaccinated and boosted are much less likely to contract the virus, much less likely to spread it, much less likely to exhibit symptoms, much less likely to require hospitalization or ventilation, recover much more quickly and are much less likely to die. Vaccinations, masks, social distancing, enhanced ventilation and hygiene, testing, contact tracing and quarantining all lessen the possibility of contracting COVID-19, at work or anywhere else. That’s what makes it a workplace safety issue. No one ever claimed that any of these common sense public health measures could reduce the risk to 0%. Like everything else in life, it’s a crap shoot. OSHA was just trying to improve everyone’s odds of making it out alive.

      2. I took a look at the Ontario, Canada, health page you mentioned, and it does NOT reflect your summary, at all. Instead, it tells the same story as health professionals are saying all over the world: COVID vaccination is highly effective at reducing hospitalization.

        Reconstitute this link to see the data I am describing. https media documents ncov epi covid-19-epi-confirmed-cases-post-vaccination.pdf Keep in mind that about 75-80% of Ontario adults are vaccinated, covering the period of the last 2 months. Check out Table 1 b on page 8: “Hospitalizations (including intensive care unit admissions) confirmed cases of COVID-19 by vaccination status: Ontario, December 14, 2020 to January 3, 2022”

        Over ages 5 through 100, vaccinated people (including the partially vaccinated with just 1 dose of a 2-dose regimen) who have been hospitalized: 3038

        Unvaccinated who have been hospitalized: 20,717

        So the 75% of the population who are at least partially vaccinated make up just 13% of hospitalizations, whereas the 25% who are unvaccinated make up 87% of hospitalizations.

        With a bit of math, the unvaccinated are 18x likelier to be hospitalized than the vaccinated. That is a powerful statistic.

        Suzanne, please help in not spreading false data about COVID. Thank you!

        1. Well the information I got was from the Ontario government site – covi19 data – I understand that they are about 80% vaccinated there which means that it makes sense that the numbers are higher for vaccinated to be in the hospital with covid – and we all now know that being counted as a covid positive person in the hospital doesn’t mean you are there because of covid just that you are positive for it – but people saying that you won’t end up in the hospital if you are vaccinated isn’t proved out by these numbers.

          1. No responsible person has ever said that “you won’t end up in the hospital if you are vaccinated.”

            1. You’re kidding right? That has been pretty much the entire reason told to us – that you don’t get as sick so you won’t be clogging up the hospitals. Literally daily. President Biden said it near Christmas.

              “Over 200 million Americans should have the peace of mind that they did not have in March of 2020: They’re protected from hospitalization, and they’re protected from death.

              Second point: We’re prepared today for what’s coming. In March of 2020, we were not ready. Today, we’ve spocktiled [sic] enough — we’ve stockpiled enough gowns, masks, and ventilators to deal with the surge of hospitalizations among the unvaccinated. “

    2. “The argument that COVID-19 is not a workplace threat because it can be caught anywhere totally ignores the reality that people can, usually, control their non-work access to specific locales, such as grocery stores, but have much less control over the workplaces where they are required to spend much more time, and which — up to now — had a general duty, under OSHA law, to provide safe work environments.”

      That’s the de jure law. The de facto law is that OSHA has been subject to regulatory capture, and most of what passes for occupational safety is really liability mitigation, protecting not the workers but the companies. (Source: More than ten years as, among other roles, a safety officer on construction and remediation jobsites.) Please understand, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing: It means that the legal landscape holds employers accountable for OTJ incidents, after all! But once you view the Covid-19 ruling through that lens it makes much more sense. The company simply can’t be blamed for you catching Covid, any more than they can be blamed for you catching the flu (which kills thousands every year). This also explains why healthcare workers are the exception: they CAN blame their employers for the exposure.

      Further, I’m not sure I want OSHA expanded in this way. I’m not anti-vax by any means; I’m vaccinated, with my booster, as is my wife, and my kids are scheduled for this weekend. I have, however, had a lot of experience with OSHA, and…they’re bureaucrats. If you give them an avenue to expand their fief, they will take it. They’re already pushing for increased power to regulate off-duty activities on the premise that they could have an impact on work-related injuries. I don’t want OSHA having a say in what I eat, what my hobbies are, what my exercise routine is, or what I drink with dinner–and these are all examples of safety topics raised in the last couple of weeks at the jobsite, all explicitly trying to “encourage safe behavior” outside the jobsite.

      I hope they find a way to make vaccines mandatory. I also hope they keep OSHA out of it. These views are not contradictory.

      “The voters have already spoken — loud and clear — on that issue.”

      This is exactly why we have a republic, and why we have checks and balances, though. Voters aren’t always right (and you agree with me, unless you are 100% in favor of Trump and 100% in favor Biden, both), and even if something is a good idea it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea for a particular branch of the government to have the power to do it. The whole point of our governmental system is to check exactly these sorts of impulses. THIS time, sure, it may be the right thing to do–but one we open that Pandora’s Box we can’t close it. In the long run it’s better for society as a whole and most of the individuals in it to run short-term risks but have systems in place to prevent governmental over-reach.

      Again, please remember I’m pro-vaccination. I have discussed this with people who study the subject (I’m not an expert, viruses don’t fossilize) and all the data support vaccination. It’s one of two ways the pandemic ends (the other being culling the human population of everyone susceptible to adverse outcomes), and the only one that’s morally acceptable. I’m still VERY worried about the way the precedents we’re setting will be used in the near- and long-term by the warring parties in our system, and what the consequences for those of us without political power. Again, I do not believe that these two views are incompatible.

  3. @ Nope – It seems you are misunderstanding published data and my own comment. You said: “…it makes sense that the numbers are higher for vaccinated to be in the hospital with covid [than unvaccinated]”.

    No, it does not make sense.


    No, it is not true. The Ontario data you brought into the discussion shows that of the 23,755 human beings who had to go into a hospital for COVID at some point, just 3038 are at partially or totally vaccinated, and 20,717 are unvaccinated. So the unvaccinated dominate the hospital beds 6 to 1….despite being a small minority of the population.

    Another way to look at the same numbers. Assemble random groups of 100 people in Ontario:

    * Inside a hospital suffering from COVID, 85% of them will be unvaccinated.

    * Outside the hospital and living their lives, with or without COVID, only 15% will be unvaccinated.

    These numbers tell the same story experts are sharing everywhere; the COVID vaccines are powerfully protective against hospitalization. I would recommend understanding the data thoroughly before you attempt to draw your own conclusions from it, because you are struggling with the math and the facts.

  4. And further to Nope:

    Seatbelts protect users from automobile crash injuries by greatly reducing the frequency and severity thereof. Seatbelts do not guarantee 100% freedom from injury in every case. “Wear your seatbelt and be protected” IS a good recommendation. Anyone hearing that and then crashing into a soundwall at 120 mph should not expect to walk away unscathed. Nor should they say, “Why didn’t the seatbelt protect me?” when/if they wake up in the ICU.

    Vaccines protect recipients from hospitalization and illness by greatly reducing the frequency and severity thereof. Vaccines do not guarantee 100% freedom from hospitalization in every case.

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