WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court issued two key rulings Thursday about vaccine mandates.
In a 6 to 3 ruling, the Supreme Court said the Biden administration overstepped its authority by trying to impose a new OSHA rule that employees at businesses with at least 100 workers be vaccinated or get tested weekly and wear masks daily.
"Essentially what the conservative justices ruled in this case is that this was an overreach by the Biden administration. That doesn't mean workers won't be required to have vaccines or tests, individual employers could do that, it's just that they will not be forced by the federal government to do so," said Stephen Caliendo, North Central College Political Science Professor.
But the vaccine mandate stands for many health care workers. In a 5 to 4 ruling, justices backed a policy that requires vaccines at facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid funding.
North Central College Professor Stephen Caliendo explains the reason two conservative justices joined the liberal justices.
"There's a role for the federal government and since it's about public health and these are public health workers it is acceptable and appropriate for the administration to require that workers in those particular settings, health care settings, nursing homes, etc., have a vaccine mandate or be tested on a regular basis."
The mandate for health care workers covers about 17 million people. The business mandate would have covered more than 80 million. Even though that one is blocked, the Biden administration sees success because the rule already drove millions to get vaccinated.
Plus many private businesses implemented their own requirements and those still stand.