The Supreme Court handed down two major rulings on federal Covid-19 vaccine mandates on Thursday.
Justices blocked the OSHA "vaccine-or-test" mandate for businesses with 100 or more employees. The mandate would have required vaccines for 84 million working Americans, but the high court ruled OSHA does not have the power to regulate public health for those workers.
However, the mandate for health care workers was upheld in a 5-4 vote. It will impact facilities that receive money from Medicare and Medicaid. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services will be regulating the mandate, which will impact 10 million health care workers across 76,000 medical facilities.
Former U.S. Attorney Jay Town says the ruling could impact other vaccine mandate cases as well.
"What we will see going forward in the defense contractor vaccine mandate cases, we will see some of the language that came from the Supreme Court's opinion in the CMS case today where they did allow for the vaccine mandate because of that financial nexus between the federal government and the actual civilian employees," explains Town.
He says it will be interesting to hear arguments for vaccine mandates going forward, as lower courts will look to the Supreme Court's decision as a precedent for future rulings.