The majority of Supreme Court justices on Friday seemed willing to let the federal government’s healthcare worker COVID-19 vaccine mandate go into effect while appeals continue in lower courts.
But justices seemed more skeptical of the Labor Department’s ability to require a broad requirement for staff at primarily non-healthcare businesses to be vaccinated or get tested weekly, with Chief Justice John Roberts questioning if the federal government is trying to work around state and congressional powers through the requirement.
The Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is set to begin enforcement of its own non-healthcare-specific rule on Monday, though employees won’t be required to get vaccines or weekly tests until Feb. 9. The tight deadline means the Supreme Court could issue rulings as soon as Friday evening.
During oral arguments, Justices Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor indicated a strong interest in letting CMS enforce its mandate. The