Supreme Court Halts Vaccine Mandate for Businesses
The U.S. Supreme Court, by a 6-3 vote, stopped a federal requirement for businesses with at least 100 employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or test regularly and wear a mask on the job. The ruling was a blow to the Biden administration. However, the court, with a 5-4 decision, allowed the vaccine mandate for most health care workers in the U.S.
The Associated Press reported that the court's conservative majority concluded the administration overstepped its authority by seeking to impose the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's mandate.
Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen applauded the court's business ruling. However, he said the mandate for most healthcare workers "is as nonsensical as it is disappointing. Its effect on Montana's rural medical facilities will be irreversible and devastating. This unprincipled 'split the baby' approach undermines public confidence in the Supreme Court and rule of law. Today's decisions do not mean either case is over - I will continue our fight to protect Montanans' rights and strike down President's Biden's unlawful mandate for good."
All three of Montana's U.S. Congressmen commented. Senator Jon Tester said, "Montana business owners and employees across our state made clear to me that this vaccine mandate was unworkable. I support the Court's decision and do not believe the federal government should be telling private businesses how to operate when it comes to vaccines. With that said, I strongly urge every eligible Montanan to join me in getting vaccinated as soon as possible to we can do end this pandemic."
Tester was the only Montana Congressman to support the Court's ruling allowing the healthcare workers vaccination mandate.
Senator Steve Daines said, ‘“President Biden’s private sector mandate is an extreme federal overreach, and I’m glad to see the Supreme Court step in to make that clear. Biden’s mandate on private businesses would have forced Montanans out of work and forced some businesses to close their doors. While I’m pro-vaccine, I’m strongly anti-mandate. This should be a decision between Montanans and their doctor, not the federal government. I am disappointed that the Court did not block Biden’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers. This mandate is threatening to close Montana hospitals and limit patient access to essential care. I’ll continue working in Congress to protect our healthcare heroes against this harmful mandate.”
Representative Matt Rosendale's comment:
"I’m pleased to see the Supreme Court block Joe Biden's COVID-19 vaccine mandate on private employers and their workers. This is a significant victory for Montana businesses, and the freedom of Montanans to make their own medical decisions. However, no American should be forced to take the vaccine, and the Court only got it half right. I’m extremely disappointed the Supreme Court allowed the Biden Administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate on healthcare workers to go into effect, which will exacerbate healthcare workforce shortages we’re already experiencing in Montana. I will continue to fight the Biden Administration’s overreach and authoritarian COVID-19 vaccine mandates wherever they arise."