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Reaction from Supreme Court’s decision on Pres. Biden’s OSHA and CMS vaccine mandates

Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 7:33 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 13, 2022 at 10:12 PM CST
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (KALB) - Reactions are coming from all political spheres following the Supreme Court’s decision to allow a block of the OSHA vaccine-or-test requirement on large businesses with 100 or more employees, potentially impacting an estimated 80 million workers across the nation.

“People should get vaccinated, but President Biden should not be able to force people to do it,” said Sen. Bill Cassidy. “The Supreme Court agrees.”

The testing rule was set to go into effect on Feb. 9.

“Today, I think, is a great day,” explained Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry. “I know for millions of American workers out there, there is a lot of relief. There is also a lot of relief for employers who are facing the onerous task of having to implement this type of regulation.”

In the 6-3 decision, the justices said OSHA has the power to set safety rules in the workplace, but that power does not extend into health care policies.

The Court’s conservative majority decided the mandate was an overstepping in the Biden Administration’s authority, but liberal justices argued that the court was overreaching in putting its judgment in the place of health experts who weighed in during oral arguments.

On the other hand, the Court is allowing the continuation of the CMS vaccine mandate impacting an estimated 20 million healthcare workers at Medicaid and Medicare-funded facilities across the U.S. Louisiana Solicitor General Liz Murrill argued the case before the Court on Jan. 7, calling it a “bureaucratic power move that is unprecedented.”

“The choice now for healthcare employees is either they take a religious exemption or they leave their jobs,” said Landry. “And if they leave their jobs in droves, that is absolutely is going to affect the quality and access to healthcare around the state.”

The mandate passed the Court in a 5-4 vote.

“We think that that is unfortunate and still believe that the court may have really granted the Secretary broader powers than the statute implies,” said Landry.

The federal contractor vaccine mandate received a preliminary injunction from Judge Dee Drell in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana in Alexandria on Dec. 16 for three plaintiff states: Louisiana, Indiana and Mississippi. It has not been taken up yet by the Supreme Court, but Landry said that if it does, he thinks the Court’s decision on OSHA will positively impact the outcome of the case.

RELATED: Supreme Court halts COVID-19 vaccine rule for US businesses

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