“The justices fail to understand that workers — almost every worker — is at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 in the workplace than the average American.

The Supreme Court, in a predictable 6-3 decision, blocked OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) that required employees in businesses with 100 or more employees to either be vaccinated or regularly tested and masked. Dissenting were the three Justices appointed by Democratic Presidents: Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan. The majority stated that the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHAct) “plainly” does not authorize the vaccine or masking requirements.  Calling the OSHA standard no “everyday exercise of federal power” they labeled it “instead a significant encroachment into the lives—and health—of a vast number of employees.”  The argued that in a situation where an agency is authorized to “exercise powers of vast economic and political significance,” Congress must “speak clearly.”   The majority argued that it is not the responsibility of OSHA to weight to costs and benefits of the standard, but rather “the responsibility of those chosen by the people through democratic processes”  — in other words, Congress.”