Supreme Court to review Biden Administration’s Vaccine Rules to curb Covid-19 Cases

Mitali Palnitkar

Published On: January 07, 2022 at 16:51 IST

Biden’s Administration efforts to increase the Vaccination rate of the nation during the time of spike in Covid-19 cases due to the Omicron variant are being taken up by the Supreme Court. On January 7, 2022, the Justices of the Supreme Court heard the arguments on whether to permit the Enforcement of vaccine or testing requirement, which applies to large employers and a Vaccine Mandate for healthcare workers separately. The Vaccine rules will affect more than 80 million people.

The Challengers argued that the Vaccine rules had exceeded the Authority of the Administration whereas Elizabeth Prelogar, the Solicitor General opined that both were needed to avoid hospitalizations and deaths. She also stated that if the Vaccine Mandate was kept on hold it would “likely result in hundreds or thousands of deaths and serious illnesses from Covid-19 that could otherwise be prevented”. Even though the Justices turned away Pleas to block the State level mandates, the Vaccine policies of the Administration would reviewed by the High Court.

Due to the pandemic, an end was brought to the Federal moratorium on evictions by the conservative majority which is bothered about federal overreach. Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Brett Kavanhaugh and Justice Amy Coney are the three conservatives who are likely to hold the key to the outcome. They disagreed with the other Judges in the question of right over State mandates but agreed with them on allowing evictions to resume.

The Opponents opined that the Vaccine rules will turn out to be costly for businesses. The Executive Director of the National Federation of Independent Business’ Small Business Legal Center stated, “People are going to quit. It will make a bad situation worse and they are not going to come back.”

The Emergency Rule adopted by Occupational Safety and Health Administration is challenged by the Business Group as it rules that workers must get Vaccinated or test weekly in the businesses with 100 and more employees. This rule will come into effect on January 10, 2022.

The Vaccine Mandate with medical and religious exemptions applies to virtually all the healthcare staff. Federal Courts in New Orleans and St Louis blocked the mandate in half of the states but the Administration aims to enforce it in remaining states. The Court is scheduling arguments and the Cases will be heard in a Courtroom closed for the Public due to the Pandemic.

62.3% of the American population that is almost 207 million people are fully vaccinated and booster shots have been received by more than a third of the population.

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