Supreme Court holding speedy, special session on vaccine mandate

The Supreme Court says it will hold a special session in just over two weeks to weigh challenges to two Biden administration policies covering vaccine requirements for millions of workers — policies that affect large employers and health care workers, the Associated Press reported last week.

The plan — which could affect over 80 million workers in the U.S. — requires workers at large companies to be vaccinated or wear face masks and get tested weekly. A three-judge panel in Cincinnati ruled 2-1 on Dec. 17 that the vaccine or testing regime for workers at companies with 100 or more employees could take effect.

The American Trucking Associations, multiple states, organizations and businesses have challenged the requirement after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration published the rule in early November, Transport Topics reported. The rule was to go into effect Jan. 4.

The Supreme Court announced on Dec. 22 that it will hear arguments in the cases on Jan. 7 – an extraordinarily fast timeline amid a rise in COVID-19 cases, AP noted. The court had reportedly not been scheduled to hear cases again until Jan. 10.

The White House defended its policies and said in a statement that “it is critical to protect workers with vaccination requirements and testing protocols that are urgently needed.”

“We are confident in the legal authority for both policies and (the Justice Department) will vigorously defend both at the Supreme Court,” the statement said.

Story courtesy of AP and Transport Topics.