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Supreme Court blocks Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine rule for U.S. businesses

Supreme Court ruled on President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate and the health care worker rule

An illustration of the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court decided Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, to halt the COVID-19 vaccine rule for U.S. businesses.
Photo illustration by Michelle Budge, Deseret News

The Supreme Court blocked the vaccine-or-test rule for U.S. businesses but allowed for COVID-19 vaccine mandates to stand for most health care workers, The Associated Press reports.

The news: The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked the Biden administration's call to enforce a vaccine-or-test mandate for larger employers.

  • The vote on the employer mandate was 6-3 with liberal justices in dissent. This mandate would have required workers for companies with more than 100 employees to get vaccinated for COVID-19 or get tested weekly while wearing masks indoors, per CNBC.
  • The health care case ended in a 5-4 vote. Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. and Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined liberal judges in the health care worker case, per The New York Times. This mandate applies to health care workers.

Why this matters: This is a major blow to the Biden administration’s plan to address the coronavirus pandemic as COVID-19 cases continue to rise from the omicron variant.

The bigger picture: Biden’s vaccine mandate has faced massive pushback from its inception, the Deseret News’ Kelsey Dallas writes.

  • The policies were challenged in court almost immediately by conservative state leaders, business groups and religious organizations.
  • The courts aimed to decide the scope of government authority and whether vaccine mandates can take effect while they’re being legally challenged,