“Although Congress has indisputably given OSHA the power to regulate occupational dangers, it has not given that agency the power to regulate public health more broadly,” the court wrote. “Requiring the vaccination of 84 million Americans, selected simply because they work for employers with more than 100 employees, certainly falls in the latter category.”
The Supreme Court on Thursday halted enforcement of one of President Joe Biden’s signature efforts to combat COVID-19, ruling that his administration doesn’t have the authority to impose sweeping vaccine-or-testing requirements for employers that would have covered tens of millions of Americans.
The unsigned opinion, which came days after the justices heard arguments in the emergency appeal, marked the second time the nation’s highest court had unwound a key pandemic policy of the Biden administration, once again concluding that federal officials had exceeded the power given to them by Congress. The court in August blocked Biden’s eviction moratorium, ruling that it, too, amounted to government overreach.
But the court in a second unsigned opinion permitted another vaccine mandate on people employed at health care facilities that receive federal funding through Medicare and Medicaid. That measure, which takes effect this month, is estimated to affect 10 million workers.