Update: The U.S. Supreme Court, on Jan. 13, struck down the Biden administration’s vaccine and testing rule for large companies, but upheld mandates for health care workers at facilities receiving federal funding. For more on the ruling, see NPR’s reporting here.
Many observers anticipated that Thursday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling announcements would include decisions on two vaccine mandate cases. The court has yet to rule, even though both it, and the Biden administration have indicated time is of the essence.
Seth Chandler is a health law professor at the University of Houston. He told Texas Standard that the court is aware that its eventual rulings on these and other highly-anticipated cases “really will affect life and death.”
Chandler says the court is not built to make quick decisions, even as COVD-19 continues to spread, and as the ramifications of that spread intensify.
Chandler says justices are likely weighing how precedents created by rulings on the vaccine mandate cases would apply to future cases concerning public policy.
“They not only have to think about executive decisions – decisions by the president, not by Congress – by some future president. And I know some people who are sympathetic to the Biden administration generally have wondered, if we authorize this kind of radical action to affect business by a president that we generally like, what happens a couple of years from now when we might get a president that we don’t like so much?”