United States Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Vaccination Mandates

January 7, 2022 by

Oral Arguments at the United States Supreme Court Concerning the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) and the Department of Health and Human Services Medicare/Medicaid Vaccination Mandates.

Today, January 7, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments related to the COVID-19 workplace health and safety policies which generally requires employers of 100+ employees to require vaccination or weekly COVID testing of their employees who work on site and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) rule which requires vaccination of all healthcare workers at CMS-covered facilities throughout the country. The challenges take the position that these federal agencies do not have the authority to unilaterally issues these rules and that law-making is a function of Congress not the federal government.

The 1-hour arguments will determine whether the Court should reimpose a stay of the ETS as it is currently set to go into effect on Monday, January 10, 2022. There have been various challenges to the ETS and it was stayed by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and on December 17, 2021, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit lifted the stay imposed by the Fifth Circuit permitted the ETS to go into effect. Subsequently, an emergency appeal was filed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Those oral arguments will begin at 10:00 a.m.

The applicability of the CMS rule will not be argued during the first hour of today’s arguments, but will begin at 11:00 a.m. Presently, two separate federal courts have enjoined the CMS rule on a nationwide basis. Namely, the Fifth Circuit modified a stay of the CMS rule to enjoin it in twenty-four (24) states, permitting the rule in twenty-six (26) states.

Given the two cases were filed with the Court on an emergency basis, rulings are expected to be made expeditiously.

Listen to the Oral Arguments here: https://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/live.aspx

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