January 14, 2022
Supreme Court Allows CMS to Move Forward with Vaccination Mandate
In a 5-4 decision on January 13, the US Supreme Court handed down an opinion allowing the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to move forward with implementation of its healthcare worker vaccination mandate while the cases of Biden v. Missouri and Becerra v. Louisiana continue to move through appellate courts. Justices Breyer, Kagan, Kavanaugh, Roberts and Sotomayor sided with the federal government; Justices Alito, Barrett, Gorsuch and Thomas dissented.
The Supreme Court did not rule on the constitutionality of the mandate—its opinion only allows implementation to move forward while appellate courts continue to consider the matter.
CMS is now able to move forward with implementation of the mandate in 49 states, Washington, DC, and US territories. Texas, which has secured a preliminary injunction against CMS in a separate lawsuit, was not part of the Biden administration’s application to the Supreme Court and is not impacted by this opinion.
In a separate opinion, the Supreme Court has not allowed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to move forward with its vaccination mandate, which would require employers with 100 or more employees to institute a policy requiring staff be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing.
If you have questions or concerns, please contact Stephen Abresch.