The United States Supreme Court announced last week that it will hear oral arguments in two COVID vaccine mandate cases during a special session scheduled on Jan. 7, 2022.
According to Charisma News, the cases involve two federal policies: a mandatory jab-or-test requirement for employees at businesses with more than 100 employees, and a mandatory vaccine requirement for health care workers at facilities funded by Medicare or Medicaid.
CNBC, on the other hand, noted that Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Samuel Alito looked at both applications, and both will be heard on Jan. 7. The lower court rulings that allowed the employer mandate and some of the health-care worker mandate will stay in place until then.
In these cases, the bigger question is whether the federal government has the power to make employers force their employees get the jab or not.
On Nov. 5, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) made it legal for large companies to require workers to wear masks and take COVID tests every week. OSHA's rules were challenged in courts all over the country.
According to NBC News, a three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals claimed the OSHA rule was "an important step in curtailing the transmission of a deadly virus that has killed over 800,000 people in the United States, brought our health care system to its knees, and cost hundreds of thousands of workers their jobs."
In this case, it lifted a previous stay that had kept the rule from being put into place.
The OSHA said it won't do anything to enforce the new rules until Jan. 10. And until Feb. 9, if employers are acting in good faith, they won't get citations for not meeting the testing requirements.
Business groups and states that don't like the rule asked the Supreme Court to reinstate the stay. On Wednesday, a judge said that a decision on the request won't be made until the Jan. 7 hearing.
More than that, a separate federal rule that requires health care workers who work with Medicare and Medicaid patients to be vaccinated has been put into place in about half of the country. In total, two federal appeals courts blocked its enforcement in 24 states. The Supreme Court also kept that in place until January, when they will decide.
As CNBC points out, 27 states with Republican governors or attorneys general are among those challenging the mandate. Private businesses, religious groups, and national industry groups like the National Federation of Independent Business are also part of this group.
The report added that more than 100 million American workers will be covered by two new rules proposed by the Biden administration on Nov. 4. A total of 17 million employees had to be fully immunized in order to comply with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' requirements for vaccination.
In spite of this, the New York Post reports that the mandate has been blocked in half of the country's states due to pending legal action. An appeal was filed by the Biden administration in response to an injunction issued by lower courts in 24 states that had temporarily halted the policy. There will be no consideration given to a separate legal challenge to the order in Texas.
As for private employers with more than 100 employees, the Department of Labor has reportedly proposed a rule requiring them to get vaccinated by Jan. 4 or undergo weekly COVID testing.