WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court, on Thursday, stopped the Biden administration from enforcing a requirement that employees at large businesses be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing and wear a mask on the job.
At the same time, the court is allowing the administration to proceed with a vaccine mandate for most health care workers in the U.S., the Associated Press reported.
The court said that challenges to an emergency rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration would likely prevail on the merits of their claim that the Secretary of Labor lacks authority to impose the mandate. It said existing laws empower the Secretary of Labor to set workplace safety standards, not broad public health measures.
“Administrative agencies are creatures of statute,” said the decision by the court’s six-member conservative block. “They accordingly possess only the authority that Congress has provided. The Secretary has ordered 84 million Americans to either obtain a COVID–19 vaccine or undergo weekly medical testing at their own expense. This is no “everyday exercise of federal power.’”