President Joe Biden said Thursday he was “disappointed” that the Supreme Court ruled against his coronavirus vaccine mandate for all businesses with over 100 employees.
“I am disappointed that the Supreme Court has chosen to block common-sense life-saving requirements for employees at large businesses that were grounded squarely in both science and the law,” Biden said in a 361 statement issued by the White House after the ruling.
The Supreme Court decision on the OSHA mandate was 6-3.
Biden defended his mandate, calling it “a very modest burden,” and noting it would allow workers to avoid vaccination by wearing a mask at work and getting tested once a week.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki refused to say whether the president would try to level a different version of a vaccine mandate that might be found legal by the courts.
In his statement, the president celebrated the Supreme Court decision to uphold his mandate requiring medical workers to get vaccinated.
“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court to uphold the requirement for health care workers will save lives,” he said, promising to enforce the rule.
The decision on the CMS medical mandate was 5-4 as Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined three Democrat appointees.
But as the Supreme Court opinion pointed out, the mandate for medical workers includes an exemption for employees who object to getting the coronavirus vaccine for religious or medical reasons, leaving open options for employees who do not want to get vaccinated.
Biden urged States to level their own vaccination mandates and encouraged private businesses to do the same.
“The Court has ruled that my administration cannot use the authority granted to it by Congress to require this measure, but that does not stop me from using my voice as President to advocate for employers to do the right thing to protect Americans’ health and economy,” he said.
The applications are NFIB v. OSHA, No. 21A244 at the Supreme Court of the United States, and Biden v. Missouri, No. 21A240 in the Supreme Court of the United States.