WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has stopped the Biden administration from enforcing a requirement that employees at large businesses be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing and wear a mask on the job.
At the same time, the court is allowing the administration to proceed with a vaccine mandate for most health care workers in the U.S.
The court’s orders Thursday during a spike in coronavirus cases was a mixed bag for the administration’s efforts to boost the vaccination rate among Americans.
The court’s conservative majority concluded the administration overstepped its authority by seeking to impose the vaccine-or-test rule on U.S. businesses with at least 100 employees. More than 80 million people would have been affected.
“The State of Oklahoma is pleased the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the states challenging the OSHA vaccine mandate on private businesses. Now, individuals who work in the private sector can make healthcare decisions for themselves and their families – as it should be. This is a major win for job creators and their employees.
However, we are disappointed with the Court’s decision to allow the enforcement of the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers. The State of Oklahoma is already suffering from healthcare staffing shortages and the CMS vaccine mandate will only make matters worse, especially in rural Oklahoma. Not only does the CMS mandate threaten the healthcare interests of countless Americans, but it also puts state funding at risk. My office will continue to fight for the rights of Oklahomans and defend the rule of law against the Biden Administration’s heavy-handed tactics.”Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor
“The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down President Biden’s unlawful vaccine mandates for businesses is an important victory for the individual freedom of Oklahomans and every citizen of this great nation. I applaud Attorney General John O’Connor who has been tirelessly fighting back against the Biden administration’s dangerous federal overreach. I am also grateful to my Republican colleagues in the Legislature who have been allies in this fight. Our alignment is critical, and I am grateful for their efforts.
From the beginning I have maintained that the vaccine should be a personal choice. While I am pleased with the Court’s decision regarding businesses, I am disappointed in its decision to even temporarily uphold the CMS vaccine mandate. No American should lose their job over a vaccine, especially our brave health care workers who have been on the front lines of this pandemic. Today’s ruling will not only affect them, but it will also hurt our hospitals’ ability to care for patients during a nationwide staffing shortage. Nevertheless, my administration will continue to stand up for individual freedom for all Oklahomans.”Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt
“Today’s Supreme Court ruling affirms what every Oklahoman has believed for months and what I’ve told my neighbors since the President’s executive order was drafted, President Biden’s federal vaccine mandate on private businesses was an egregious act of federal overreach. President Biden’s unconstitutional OSHA vaccine mandate was the last thing Main Street job creators and workers needed as America recovers from the economic effects of COVID, and now Oklahomans who work in the private sector will be able to make health care decisions for themselves. Just as I have done for the last two years, as our country has battled COVID-19, I continue to be a strong advocate of following the science and taking the necessary precautions- including encouraging my fellow Oklahomans to get vaccinated and boosted.”Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03)