Another Victory For The People – Another Loss For The Biden Regime – SCOTUS BLOCKS Vaccine Mandate

Another Victory For The People – Another Loss For The Biden Regime – SCOTUS BLOCKS Vaccine Mandate

(Slip Opinion) Cite as: 595 U. S. ____ (2022) 1

Per Curiam

NOTICE: This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in the preliminary print of the United States Reports. Readers are requested to notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Court of the United States, Wash- ington, D. C. 20543, of any typographical or other formal errors, in order that corrections may be made before the preliminary print goes to press.

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

_________________

Nos. 21A244 and 21A247_________________

NATIONAL FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS, ET AL., APPLICANTS

21A244 v.
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY

AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION, ET AL.

OHIO, ET AL., APPLICANTS 21A247 v.

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION, ET AL.

ON APPLICATIONS FOR STAYS [January 13, 2022]

PER CURIAM.

The Secretary of Labor, acting through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, recently enacted a vac- cine mandate for much of the Nation’s work force. The mandate, which employers must enforce, applies to roughly 84 million workers, covering virtually all employers with at least 100 employees. It requires that covered workers re- ceive a COVID–19 vaccine, and it pre-empts contrary state laws. The only exception is for workers who obtain a medi- cal test each week at their own expense and on their own time, and also wear a mask each workday. OSHA has never before imposed such a mandate. Nor has Congress. Indeed, although Congress has enacted significant legislation ad- dressing the COVID–19 pandemic, it has declined to enact any measure similar to what OSHA has promulgated here. Many States, businesses, and nonprofit organizations challenged OSHA’s rule in Courts of Appeals across the country. The Fifth Circuit initially entered a stay. But when the cases were consolidated before the Sixth Circuit, that court lifted the stay and allowed OSHA’s rule to take effect. Applicants now seek emergency relief from this Court, arguing that OSHA’s mandate exceeds its statutory authority and is otherwise unlawful. Agreeing that appli- cants are likely to prevail, we grant their applications and stay the rule.

I A

Congress enacted the Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1970. 84 Stat. 1590, 29 U. S. C. §651 et seq. The Act created the Occupational Safety and Health Administra- tion (OSHA), which is part of the Department of Labor and under the supervision of its Secretary. As its name sug- gests, OSHA is tasked with ensuring occupational safety— that is, “safe and healthful working conditions.” §651(b). It does so by enforcing occupational safety and health stand- ards promulgated by the Secretary. §655(b). Such stand- ards must be “reasonably necessary or appropriate to pro- vide safe or healthful employment.” §652(8) (emphasis added). They must also be developed using a rigorous pro- cess that includes notice, comment, and an opportunity for a public hearing. §655(b).

The Act contains an exception to those ordinary notice- and-comment procedures for “emergency temporary stand- ards.” §655(c)(1). Such standards may “take immediate ef- fect upon publication in the Federal Register.” Ibid. They are permissible, however, only in the narrowest of circum- stances: the Secretary must show (1) “that employees are exposed to grave danger from exposure to substances or agents determined to be toxic or physically harmful or from

Cite as: 595 U. S. ____ (2022) 3

Per Curiam

new hazards,” and (2) that the “emergency standard is nec- essary to protect employees from such danger.” Ibid. Prior to the emergence of COVID–19, the Secretary had used this power just nine times before (and never to issue a rule as broad as this one). Of those nine emergency rules, six were challenged in court, and only one of those was upheld in full. See BST Holdings, L.L.C. v. Occupational Safety and Health Admin., 17 F. 4th 604, 609 (CA5 2021).

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