(Washington) The Supreme Court of the United States on Friday split the immunization obligation required for certain companies by Joe Biden, with progressive judges appearing more favorable and conservatives more skeptical.
But a majority of nine judges backed a move that would require employees of health organizations benefiting from federal subsidies to be vaccinated.
After months of trying to pacify the reluctant, the Democrat leader announced in September that he wanted to make the vaccine mandatory, especially in companies with more than 100 employees, which would affect about 80 million employees.
Those who have not been vaccinated should wear a mask during this activity and undergo weekly checkups.
Joe Biden announced that the vaccine was mandatory for employees of federal-subsidized health care systems, or about 10 million people.
The Federal Agency for Occupational Health and Safety (OSHA) has until Feb. 9 to allow companies to use the rule at the risk of being fined.
But in a country with individual liberties, with 62% of the population fully vaccinated, these actions were immediately condemned by elected Republican officials and a section of the economic world.
The avalanche of legal action that led to the conflicting results led the Supreme Court to set aside this exceptional hearing and to hear arguments regarding the vaccine duty on employees of health structures.
Implications for the economy
Three progressive judges appeared on Friday and clearly leaned in favor of the two measures.
“Why is it not necessary to reduce serious risks?” “Judge Elena Kagan asked the lawyer of the trade unions opposing the move.
“It’s an epidemic that has killed nearly a million people,” he said. “This is the biggest risk to public health that this country has faced in a century,” the judge said, adding that “this policy is likely to put an end to all this.”
Scott Keller, who represents business associations, promised that compulsory vaccination in companies with more than 100 employees would force employees to resign.
Such a rule would “lead to a permanent change of staff, which would affect our national economy,” he said.
Ohio State Representative Benjamin Flowers also expressed his opposition, confirming that the rule was “not intended to regulate workplace hazards.”
Speaking on the phone after a positive test for COVID-19, Benjamin Flowers said the disease is “the risk we all face when we wake up, stay with our families, and stop drinking coffee on the way to work.”
Court President Conservative John Roberts acknowledged that the issue was “urgent”, while at the same time doubting the authority of the federal administration to impose such rules, he sided with other judges.
“Is this something the federal government has never done before, right, compulsory vaccination?” He asked.
“Traditionally, the responsibility for overseeing vaccination duties rests solely with the states,” said Conservative Judge Neil Korsch.
“Not a novelty”
Progressive Judge Stephen Fryer, in response to the dismissal argument, estimated that “some” might quit their jobs, “perhaps 3%”.
“But when it is discovered that they need to work with those who have not been vaccinated, more people may leave because they may get sick,” he argued.
Elizabeth Preloger, a representative of the federal government before the court, promised that the vaccination duty was “not new.” “Most of us have been vaccinated for a lifetime,” he said.
Louisiana Representative Elizabeth Murray argued against the move, citing health workers as an “unprecedented bureaucratic conspiracy”. According to him, these employees are forced to receive “aggressive, irreversible and compulsory medical treatment, vaccination against COVID-19”.
Conservative judges have largely accepted the arguments in favor of this rule.
The High Court verdict is expected soon, perhaps in the next few days.
The Supreme Court, which has six conservative magistrates out of nine, has so far reviewed vaccination duties imposed by education or local authorities.
If it blocks the action of the federal administration, it will represent a significant setback for Joe Biden, who has made the fight against the epidemic one of his priorities, but is facing an explosion of pollution under the influence of the Omigron variant.