Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court, by a 6-3 vote, blocked OSHA from administering its vaccine mandate Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), which would have required employers with more than 100 employees – including all SCICU member institutions – to require vaccinations or weekly testing.
The Supreme Court did not strike down the ETS, but reapplied the temporary injunction that had been imposed by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. When the cases were consolidated before the Sixth Circuit, that court lifted the stay and allowed OSHA’s rule to take effect, ostensibly on Monday. The injunction will apply while the case itself is heard before the Sixth Circuit.
You’re probably thinking: “Since it lifted the injunction, won’t the Sixth Circuit affirm the ETS?” Probably not. That was likely a procedural move and the judicial temperament of the Sixth Circuit is such that it’s likely to rule against the ETS.
But wait – there’s more! The ETS is set to expire on May 5 of this year. OSHA may issue a permanent regulation to the same effect, no doubt unleashing a new slew of lawsuits.
With Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) making clear his opposition to Build Back Better, the Biden Administration has all but given up on the legislation, which includes a $550 increase in the maximum Pell Grant.
You may hear of efforts to revive Build Back Better, but unless something drastic changes, the bill’s prospects are not good at all.