Supreme Court rules OSHA vaccine mandate goes beyond the constitutional scope of the agency

In their 6-3 ruling last week blocking President Biden’s sweeping vaccine mandate for companies with more than 100 employees and all federally-paid healthcare workers, the Justices outlined their reasoning for the decision, essentially saying the mandate is department overreach.

The Supreme Court’s ruling invoked the “major questions” doctrine, which prohibits the court from seeking guidance on any of its rulings from federal departments when it comes to matters of “vast economic or political significance.”

The ruling also concluded that since the OSHA mandate extends to employees of companies whose everyday operations are not directly dealing with public health, such as Medicare and Medicaid healthcare employees, the vaccine-or-test measure presented “a significant encroachment into the lives—and the health—of a vast number of employees.”

The court specifically referred to the powers given to OSHA by Congress and the US Constitution, writing, “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 in an unsigned opinion.

“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 court continued.

The dissenting Justices, Sotomayor, Breyer and Kagan, wrote in their dissent, “As disease and death continue to mount, this Court tells the agency that it cannot respond in the most effective way possible. Without legal basis, the Court usurps a decision that rightfully belongs to others.”




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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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