“The mandate is aimed directly at protecting the unvaccinated from their own choices,” she wrote. “Vaccines are freely available, and unvaccinated people may choose to protect themselves at any time.”
The Coronavirus Pandemic: Key Information
The Supreme Court case National Federation of Independent Business (v. Department of Labor) No. 21A244, the challengers argued that the regulation did not address a workplace issue and so exceeded the agency’s lawful authority. “Covid-19 is not an occupational danger that OSHA may regulate,” lawyers for Ohio and 26 other states told the justices in a recent brief.
They added that agencies seeking to issue regulations on “major questions” with broad economic or political implications must have clear congressional authorization.
Biden v. Missouri, No. 21A240 refers to a November regulation that required health care workers in facilities that receive federal funds under the Medicare or Medicaid programs, to be vaccinated for the coronavirus unless the worker is eligible for a medical exemption or religious exemption.
Republican officials led states challenged the regulation, obtaining injunctions that covered about half the country. While appeals were moving forward, two federal appeals courts in New Orleans and St. Louis refused to stop the injunctions.
A third federal appeals court in Atlanta sided with Biden. “Health care workers have long been required to obtain inoculations for infectious diseases, such as measles, rubella, mumps and others,” Judges Robin S. Rosenbaum and Jill A. Pryor wrote for a divided three-judge panel, “because required vaccination is a common-sense measure designed to prevent health care workers, whose job it is to improve patients’ health, from making them sicker.”
The Biden administration claimed that a federal statute gave them broad authority to impose regulations regarding the safety and health of patients in facilities that receive federal funds. The statute gives the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services the general power to issue regulations to ensure the “efficient administration” of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and parts of the statute concerning various kinds of facilities generally also authorize the secretary to impose requirement to protect the health and safety of patients.
Source: NY Times