Supreme Court agrees to take up disputes over the Biden administration’s vaccine mandates

Jen Psaki says Justice Department will ‘vigorously defend’ the legality of the mandates

Maroosha Muzaffar
Thursday 23 December 2021 07:45
Comments
<p>File: Joe Biden talks about the newly approved Covid vaccine for children ages 5-11 from the South Court Auditorium on the White House complex in Washington on 3 November 2021</p>

File: Joe Biden talks about the newly approved Covid vaccine for children ages 5-11 from the South Court Auditorium on the White House complex in Washington on 3 November 2021

The US Supreme Court agreed on Wednesday to take up the disputes over president Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate and set 7 January as the date for a special hearing in two cases.

One of the cases involve the Biden administration’s mandate asking large businesses to either ask employees to be fully vaccinated or test for Covid-19 weekly, while the other is for a separate vaccine requirement for healthcare workers.

Rulings for both the cases are likely to follow.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement that the Justice Department “will vigorously defend both — the legality of both the mandates — at the Supreme Court.”

“Especially as the US faces the highly transmissible Omicron variant, it is critical to protect workers with vaccination requirements and testing protocols that are urgently needed. We are confident in the legal authority for both policies,” the statement added.

Joe Biden’s workplace mandate for large businesses is currently in effect nationwide while the healthcare worker vaccine mandate is blocked in half of the 50 states across the country, Reuters reported.

The Supreme Court has a 6-3 conservative majority, raising concerns over whether the Biden administration’s mandate would be upheld.

The decision to take up disputes on vaccine mandates comes in the wake of the highly infectious Omicron variant that has already been discovered across the country.

Experts pointed out that the country needs to brace for a “tidal wave” of cases.

Several groups had challenged a decision by an appeals courts on Friday to allow the vaccine mandates that cover 80 million American workers.

The second case inquired on whether the administration can mandate healthcare workers to be vaccinated against Covid at hospitals that receive federal money.

“Requiring health care workers at facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid to be vaccinated protects the health and safety of patients at those facilities by reducing their risk of contracting the virus that causes Covid-19,” solicitor general Elizabeth B Prelogar told the court.

Challengers of the vaccine mandate in the first case include the National Federation of Independent Business, a trade group that represents small businesses, various individual businesses and two religious entities, including the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

Additional reporting from wires

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in