The Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has issued opinions regarding the CMS and OSHA vaccine mandates, within less than a week of hearing the final arguments. SCOTUS has blocked OSHA’s vaccine mandate for companies of over one hundred employees, but has upheld the CMS vaccine mandate for all healthcare workers.
OSHA’s mandate came to the Supreme Court via the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. That court had ruled that the Biden Administration could enforce the rule that would have required eligible staff to either get the COVID-19 vaccine, or to submit to weekly testing. Their decision was based on the premise that there was sufficient authority granted by Congress to the agency to institute these requirements. The Supreme Court decided that there was not. The court compared COVID to day-to-day illnesses and pollution hazards; they did not want OSHA to regulate those hazards of daily life, and would have had to expand OSHA’s regulatory authority if they had allowed this mandate to stand. The dissent, by Justice Breyer, argued the virus was not a regular daily hazard, but an “unparalleled threat” to our nation’s workers. The court’s action blocks the enforcement of the OSHA mandate rule, and litigation continues in the lower courts.
On the other hand, CMS’s vaccine mandate was upheld by SCOTUS for all health care workers. On November 4th, CMS issued an emergency regulation requiring all health care workers to participate in Medicare and Medicaid’s rule to be fully vaccinated. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled, on December 15th, that it was inappropriate for a lower court to block the mandate nationwide, keeping it in place for just over half the country. The court concluded that the CMS rule was within the powers that Congress had conferred on the agency. This allows conditions to be put on Medicaid and Medicare funds. The court wrote that they were seeking to ensure that transmission of the virus would stop between healthcare workers. They concluded that this mandate is consistent with the fundamental principles of the medical industry and motto: “First, do no harm.” The CMS vaccine mandate for healthcare workers is back in effect nationwide; however, it is still blocked by the state of Texas. Healthcare workers have a deadline of February 28th to be fully vaccinated in order to comply with the mandate.
OSHA’s rule was blocked by a 6-3 majority opinion, and the CMS vaccine rule was upheld by a 5-4 majority opinion.
The FormerFeds Freedom Foundation has been preparing for this moment. We are making available consultations for legal direction amidst a broadly integrative strategy aimed toward the cessation of all pandemic related mandates.
If you are facing any manner of mandate, please contact us ASAP for help.
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