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The Supreme Court has blocked President Joe Biden‘s vaccine-or-test mandate for private companies with 100 or more employees, in a decision handed down on Thursday.

The high court did however allow a vaccine mandate for employees at health care facilities receiving federal dollars to go into effect.

In a 6-3 decision the court’s conservative majority concluded the administration overstepped its authority by seeking to impose the rule on large US businesses. 

The conservative justices claim Biden’s rule would have presented a ‘significant encroachment’ on the everyday lives — and health — of American workers. 

Roughly 84 million people would have been affected. 

The decision to allow the mandate on healthcare workers in Medicare and Medicaid-funded settings fell 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh siding with liberal Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer. 

It’s the latest blow in a devastating day for Biden, who just in the last few hours failed to gin up support among Senate Democrats to scuttle the filibuster and pass voting rights legislation. 

The Supreme Court's six conservative justices ruled on Thursday to block Biden's vaccine order for private businesses

The Supreme Court's six conservative justices ruled on Thursday to block Biden's vaccine order for private businesses

The Supreme Court’s six conservative justices ruled on Thursday to block Biden’s vaccine order for private businesses

Biden rolled out sweeping measures in September aimed at getting more Americans vaccinated, after the rate of inoculations slumped as the Delta variant brought a new wave of infections over the summer. If implemented, they would have affected a combined one-third of the US workforce.

Following the president’s orders the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), the agency which ensures public and private workplace safety on a federal level, rolled out details for its rules for private companies.

It's the latest setback in a bad day for Joe Biden (pictured telling reporters that Democrats' current plan for voting rights is dead after moderate Sen. Kyrsten Sinema objected to scuttling the filibuster)

It's the latest setback in a bad day for Joe Biden (pictured telling reporters that Democrats' current plan for voting rights is dead after moderate Sen. Kyrsten Sinema objected to scuttling the filibuster)

It’s the latest setback in a bad day for Joe Biden (pictured telling reporters that Democrats’ current plan for voting rights is dead after moderate Sen. Kyrsten Sinema objected to scuttling the filibuster)

In the 6-3 majority opinion, the conservative justices claim the rule ‘draws no distinctions based on industry or risk of exposure to COVID–19.’  

They go on to argue that COVID-19 is not an ‘occupational hazard’ and can be spread ‘at home, in schools, during sporting events, and everywhere else that people gather.’

‘That kind of universal risk is no different from the day-to-day dangers that all face from crime, air pollution, or any number of communicable diseases,’ the opinion states. 

‘Permitting OSHA to regulate the hazards of daily life—simply because most Americans have jobs and face those same risks while on the clock—would significantly expand OSHA’s regulatory authority without clear congressional authorization.’ 

Republican praise for the court’s decision poured in near-immediately.

‘This is a huge win. The federal government has no place making far-reaching mandates that put an undue burden on businesses across Wyoming,’ Senator Cynthia Lummis wrote on Twitter. 

The Biden administration was already on the back foot with COVID on Thursday.

Justice Kavanaugh and Chief Justice Roberts sided with liberals on the mandate for health care workers at facilities receiving federal dollars

Justice Kavanaugh and Chief Justice Roberts sided with liberals on the mandate for health care workers at facilities receiving federal dollars

Justice Kavanaugh and Chief Justice Roberts sided with liberals on the mandate for health care workers at facilities receiving federal dollars 

Source: Daily Mail

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