DES MOINES, Iowa – The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday to block an OSHA rule requiring employers with 100 or more employees to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations or frequent rapid testing. However, the Supreme Court upheld the mandate for health care workers in facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid dollars.
Elected officials in Iowa responded to the ruling.
“The SCOTUS ruling on OSHA vaccine mandate is a major victory for Iowans, their personal freedoms and liberties. The Biden Administration should hear this message loud and clear: The American citizens do not believe in government overreach, and they don’t believe in the federal government making health care decisions for them,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a released statement.
“At the same time, I’m very disappointed by the Supreme Court’s ruling on the CMS vaccine mandate. Medical providers that have been on the frontlines of this pandemic saving lives deserve the freedom and ability to make their own informed health care decisions,” she added.
The state of Iowa participated in several lawsuits targeting the mandate.
“I believe the vaccine is the best defense against COVID-19, but I also firmly believe in Iowans’ right to make health care decisions based on what’s best for themselves and their families, and I remain committed to protecting those freedoms. President Biden should do the same,” Reynolds stated.
U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, tweeted about the ruling.
“Glad SCOTUS 2day blocked the unconstitutional OSHA vaccine mandate on businesses /Thx 2 countless indep biz representing millions of workers 4 petitioning case Heavy handed govt vaccine mandates on biz are last thing we need w a worker shortage,” Grassley tweeted.
Glad SCOTUS 2day blocked the unconstitutional OSHA vaccine mandate on businesses /Thx 2 countless indep biz representing millions of workers 4 petitioning case Heavy handed govt vaccine mandates on biz are last thing we need w a worker shortage
— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) January 13, 2022
“Iowans should make the decisions about their own health care—not the federal government,” Ernst tweeted.
“I joined a bipartisan majority of senators in pushing back against President Biden’s mandate that attempted to take that freedom away—and I’m glad SCOTUS struck down this federal overreach,” she added.
Iowans should make the decisions about their own health care—not the federal government.
I joined a bipartisan majority of senators in pushing back against President Biden’s mandate that attempted to take that freedom away—and I’m glad SCOTUS struck down this federal overreach. https://t.co/PJSQcewWwd
— Joni Ernst (@SenJoniErnst) January 13, 2022
Members of Iowa’s U.S. House of Representatives delegation weighed in as well.
“The Supreme Court’s decision to block the Biden Administration’s OSHA vaccine mandate for private businesses with more than one hundred employees is a victory for personal freedom. While I strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated against COVID-19, the government should not force anyone to choose between getting vaccinated and providing for their families,” U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa, said in a released statement.
“Iowans should be empowered to make their own health care decisions. This ruling will provide many of Iowa’s workers and businesses with certainty that their livelihoods will not be put at risk because of federal government overreach,” she added.
Hinson, like Reynolds, was disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision regarding health care workers.
“However, I am disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision to allow the Biden Administration’s CMS vaccine mandate. This will sideline many of our health care heroes who should be able to make this decision for themselvesand could worsen the health provider shortage,” she said.
U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks called the OSHA mandate ruling a win.
“Today’s decision from the Supreme Court is a win for businesses and workers across this country. The Court has acknowledged that this vaccine mandate is a massive overreach by the Biden Administration. I encourage everyone to get vaccinated, but I do not believe in overreaching federal mandates. Main Street is already facing the real-world effects of a labor shortage, a mismanaged supply chain, and inflation rates that we have not seen in decades. Every American should be able to decide if a vaccine is right for them, just like I did. Let’s work to keep businesses open and Americans employed, not shuttered, jobless, and hopeless,” she said in a released statement.
U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, disagreed with the majority opinion.
“While I disagree with the justices’ logic that COVID-19 is not an occupational hazard in all workplaces – especially amidst this most recent surge of a highly transmissible variant – this ruling comes from our highest Court and we must respect their ruling,” she told The Iowa Torch.
“A COVID-19 vaccine and booster are still Iowans’ best defenses against all variants of this virus, and today’s ruling doesn’t change that. I encourage all Iowans who can get a booster shot to get one as soon as they can to limit their risk of severe illness and hospitalization,” Axne added.
U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra, R-Iowa, celebrated the ruling.
“America was founded on the delicate principle of individual liberty,” he tweeted.
“By striking down the vaccine mandate on private businesses, the Supreme Court has prevented Pres. Biden from damaging our Constitution,” he added.
America was founded on the delicate principle of individual liberty.
By striking down the vaccine mandate on private businesses, the Supreme Court has prevented Pres. Biden from damaging our Constitution.
— Rep. Randy Feenstra (@RepFeenstra) January 13, 2022