U.S. Supreme Court Hears Arguments on CMS and OSHA COVID Vaccine Rules
On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments seeking an emergency injunction to block two separate Biden Administration regulations regarding COVID-19 vaccine and testing requirements. The first argument sought to block the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulation that requires all employers with over 100 employees to require COVID-19 vaccines or institute periodic COVID-19 screening of unvaccinated employees. Several business groups, including the National Federation of Independent Businesses, challenged the OSHA rule claiming it was an unprecedented and inappropriate use of OSHA’s regulatory authority.

The second rule the court heard arguments on was a request for an emergency injunction to block implementation of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rule requiring all participating hospitals and related medical facilities staff to be vaccinated for COVID-19.

In the hearing, in which observers were barred due concerns about COVID-19 exposure, the court appeared to be skeptical of the validity of the OSHA rule, but Chief Justice Roberts appeared to show some support for the CMS COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

This hearing was only about the U.S. Supreme Court issuing emergency injunctions to block the implementation of the rule. A separate hearing on the underlying validity of both rules is pending. However, if the court decides to block either or both rules, it effectively decides the court’s view on the underlying question.

The ATS joined the American Medical Association and 15 other medical organizations in an amicus brief urging the court to allow the COVID-19 regulations to be implemented.

A ruling on the emergency injunction request is expected from the court in the near future.

Last Reviewed: January 2022