IIn the United States, the Supreme Court has temporarily stopped a vaccination or testing obligation in large companies decreed by the government of President Joe Biden. The regulation, which was not adopted by Parliament but by administrative means, which would apply to more than 80 million workers, probably exceeds the competence of the competent authority, estimated Thursday the Supreme Court. This means that companies with more than 100 employees do not initially have to ensure that their employees are fully vaccinated or regularly tested. The obligation to wear masks has also been removed for the time being.
Business regulations have been seen as an important means of pressure by the government to persuade employees to get vaccinated in view of the complex and regular tests in order to increase the vaccination rate in the USA. So far, almost 63% of the population there – or about 208 million people – have been fully vaccinated against the virus. Of these, only about 77 million, or 37%, also received a booster shot.
Compulsory vaccinations in health establishments
Biden said he was “disappointed” with the court’s decision to block a science-backed “life-saving” rule. He will continue to promote vaccinations and call on employers “to do what it takes to protect the health and economy of Americans,” Biden said.
In another ruling requiring vaccinations for medical staff in federally funded hospitals and nursing homes, the Supreme Court of Governors agreed on Thursday. The government is empowered under current law to ensure the health and safety of Medicare and Medicaid patients, he said. Corona vaccination is therefore mandatory for the vast majority of healthcare facilities. According to the White House, 10 million employees in 76,000 health establishments are affected.
The vaccination obligation for large companies should be in force since this week. Several states and Republican-led businessmen had sued him. Now the settlement reverts to a lower authority for final review.
The Supreme Court’s decision is based on the conservative majority of the nine-member tribunal. The three most liberal justices wrote in a dissenting opinion that the competent authority (OSHA) was absolutely correct in ordering the vaccination or testing given the great danger posed by the pandemic. The task of the authority is to protect employees from “serious dangers”. OSHA assumes the regulations will prevent about 6,500 deaths and 250,000 hospitalizations over the next six months. “And there is no reason to dispute it,” the judges wrote.
The conservative judges underlined in a press release that they had not decided on the justification for the compulsory vaccination, but on a question of separation of powers: was the ordinance legal and is the federal authority responsible for it? ? “This court is not a health authority,” the judges said. However, states and municipalities have extensive powers over health care. The pandemic has been going on for two years, but Congress in Washington did not vote to give OSHA or any other federal agency the power to mandate vaccination, the justices said.
“The question before us is not how to respond to the pandemic, but who has the power to do so,” they wrote. “The answer is clear: Under current law, that power rests with the states and Congress, not OSHA,” they wrote.