After receiving emergency requests in two COVID-19 shot mandate cases last week, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it will hear the oral arguments in a special session Jan. 7, 2022. The cases cover two federal policies: a shot-or-test mandate for workers at businesses with over 100 employees and a shot mandate for health care workers at facilities that receive Medicare or Medicaid funding. The larger question in these cases is whether the federal government has the authority to force employers to require injections.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued its shot mandate, which allowed for COVID weekly testing and mask wearing, for large employers on Nov. 5. OSHA's mandate was challenged in courts across the country. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit issued an emergency motion to stay enforcement of the mandate in November, but the challenges were consolidated in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, which lifted the stay last week.
Reaction was swift, and the justices received many requests asking the court to block the 6th Circuit's decision. Two of those requests—one filed by trade associations and the other by multiple states, led by Ohio—are now slated for oral argument. The 6th Circuit's ruling is currently in force.
On the health care front, a federal appeals court panel lifted a nationwide ban Dec. 15 against Biden's mandate for health care workers. The court blocked the ban in only certain states, creating the potential for patchwork enforcement across the country. Last week, the Biden administration asked the court to allow temporary enforcement of the mandate for health care workers unless they are eligible for a medical or religious exemption.
Liberty Counsel founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, "We have been battling on behalf of tens of thousands of people across the country who have been under duress due to the Biden administration's unconstitutional COVID shot mandates. Multiple federal judges have ruled against the administration, and now the Supreme Court has taken up two critical cases. We pray for permanent relief for the millions of people under these abusive and inhumane mandates."
This article originally appeared at lc.org.
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