Reaction to Supreme Court blocking Biden’s COVID-19 mandate for workplaces

Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 10:39 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The Supreme Court blocked the Biden administration’s rule that would have required workers at businesses with 100 or more employees to be fully vaccinated or undergo regular testing and wear a face covering at work.

The vaccine mandate has been a highly debated topic since its announcement. Supporters cited public safety concerns, while those against argued people should not be forced to take the vaccine.

Gov. Kristi Noem (R, S.D.) issued a statement following Thursday’s ruling, saying in part “I am grateful that the Supreme Court has taken this important action to guarantee the rights of employees to make their own personal choice whether or not to get a COVID vaccine.”

Some workplace organizations had also pushed back against the mandate.

“Today the Supreme Court agreed that OSHA did not have the authority under current law to impose this kind of mandate on private employers and we’re thrilled to have received that kind of a ruling,” said Frank Chang, Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel. “We are happy for our clients including Bishop O’Gorman Catholic Schools who now benefit from this ruling.”

The Biden administration said Thursday they were disappointed by the ruling, but their focus is on continuing to fight the spread of COVID-19.

“President Biden, will be calling on and will continue to call on businesses to immediately join those who have already stepped up, including one-third of fortune 100 companies, to institute vaccination requirements, to protect their workers, customers, and communities,” said Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary.

The US secretary of Labor Marty Walsh also issued a statement following the Supreme Court’s ruling:

“I am disappointed in the court’s decision, which is a major setback to the health and safety of workers across the country,” said Walsh. “OSHA stands by the Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard as the best way to protect the nation’s workforce from a deadly virus that is infecting more than 750,000 Americans each day and has taken the lives of nearly a million Americans.”

Those against the vaccine mandate are excited by the decision.

“What to do with the COVID-19 vaccine is a difficult question that everyone should have their own opinion about and should make their own decisions on what to do with it,” said Chang.

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