What has the Supreme Court said about vaccine mandates?

ON January 7, 2022, the Supreme Court scheduled oral arguments in regard to Biden vaccine mandates.

Many justices had reservations about whether the federal government held the authority to impose nationwide policies, such as vaccine mandates.

What has the Supreme Court said about vaccine mandates?

Supreme Court Justices spent hours trying to decide whether the federal government's authority reaches into vaccine territory, as President Biden's proposed mandate at the end of 2021 raised concerns of power.

"Traditionally, states have had the responsibility for overseeing vaccination mandates. I just rejected a challenge to one in New Mexico. Why isn't this a major question left to the states and Congress?" Justice Neil Gorsuch said.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is already requiring private employers of 100 or more employees to ensure vaccination or a mandatory mask-and-testing policy paid for by the companies themselves.

The Department of Health and Human Services has also ordered health care facilities that treat Medicare and Medicaid patients to require vaccinations of all workers and staff.

These federal regulations reach nearly 100million Americans.

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Chief Justice John Roberts shared similar concerns: "It sounds like the sort of thing that states will be responding to or should be or — and that Congress should be responding to or should be, rather than agency by agency, the federal government, the executive branch, acting alone."

Justice Elena Kagan, on the other hand, agreed with Biden's mandate and stated that "nearly a million people have died. I don't mean to be dramatic here. I'm just sort of stating facts. And this is the policy that is most geared to stopping all this."

"Three quarters of a million new cases yesterday! That's 10 times as many as when OSHA put this ruling," Justice Stephen Breyer added. "Is that what you're doing now, to say it's in the public interest in this situation to stop this vaccination rule with nearly a million new cases every day? I mean, to me, I would find that unbelievable."

Given the conservative heavy court, Kate Shaw, a Cardozo Law professor and ABC News legal analyst told ABC News that she predicts "there's a good chance that one or both of these policies may be struck down" with federal government power in question.

On January 13, 2022, the court then blocked the Biden administration's rule requiring larger businesses to ensure that workers are vaccinated but in a separate mandate, ruled that vaccinations again health care workers can be enforced.

What has Biden said about vaccine mandates?

In September 2021, President Biden proposed that businesses with more than 100 employees would have to require workers to be vaccinated against Covid-19 or get tested weekly. Those getting inoculated would be offered paid time off to obtain the vaccine.

These federal safety regulations would ultimately affect 80million workers across America.

“Some of the biggest companies are already requiring this — United Airlines, Disney, Tyson Foods and even Fox News,” President Biden said during his November mandate speech.

The Biden administration also intends to require federal workers and nearly 17million health care workers in hospitals that receive Medicare and Medicaid to be inoculated.

Biden called on the OSHA, which oversees workplace safety, to mandate these precautions.

Following the Supreme Court's decision, Biden expressed his disappointment but celebrated the small win, stating that the verdict passed would "save lives."

"I am disappointed that the Supreme Court has chosen to block common-sense life-saving requirements for employees at large businesses that were grounded squarely in both science and the law," he said.

"We have to keep working together if we want to save lives, keep people working, and put this pandemic behind us."

What has Fauci said about vaccine mandates?

Dr. Anthony Fauci, long-time director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, believes that if most people are vaccinated, he is confident there will not be another surge in Covid-19 cases.

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However, with the Omicron variant on the rise across the country, airlines canceled more than 2,000 flights on Christmas weekend last year, due to outbreaks among staff.

Dr. Fauci mentioned in an interview with MSNBC, that a "vaccine mandate for domestic air travel is worth considering."

He does not see it happening anytime soon, though.

Cities in the U.S. like, New York City, already require proof of vaccination for indoor venues such as sports arenas, restaurants, theaters, and gyms.

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