The requirement exceeded the jurisdiction of the Biden administration, according to the nation’s highest court.
Separately, they determined that a less stringent immunisation requirement for government-funded healthcare workers might be justified.
The mandates, according to the administration, will contribute in the fight against the epidemic.
President Biden expressed dissatisfaction with the decision “to prohibit common-sense life-saving regulations for employees,” notwithstanding his low support rating.
“I call on business leaders to join others who have already stepped up – including one-third of Fortune 100 businesses – and establish vaccine obligations to protect their employees, customers, and communities,” he continued.
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Former President Donald Trump applauded the court’s decision, claiming that mandatory vaccines would have “further wrecked the economy.”
In a statement, he said, “We are proud of the Supreme Court for not backing down.” “There will be no mandates!”
Workers would have had to get a Covid-19 shot or be disguised and tested weekly at their own expense under the administration’s workplace vaccine mandate.
It would have touched 84 million workers and would have applied to businesses with at least 100 employees. It was created with the intention of being enforced by employers.
The restrictions, which were introduced in November and quickly sparked legal challenges, were seen as overstepping the administration’s authority by critics, including some Republican states and certain business groups.
In the end, judicial interpretations of federal statutes, not notions of individual liberty or appeals to the greater good, determined whether Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates stood or crumbled.
Mr Biden had the law on his side when forcing healthcare workers to get vaccinated, according to a majority of the Supreme Court, but invoking a 51-year-old workplace safety regulation to impose a vaccine-or-test mandate on all large companies was a bridge too far.
The current Supreme Court balance is once again highlighted, with four solidly conservative justices, three reliably liberal judges, and two at the ideological fulcrum – Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
This mixed judicial bag is the latest setback for the president’s Covid-response plan, which has previously failed miserably.
The latest twists in the pandemic seemed to be a step behind. The administration was sluggish to encourage boosters, and the Omicron-induced rise in testing demand caught them off guard.
Now, Mr Biden must either persuade Congress to move on mandates – an improbable possibility given the Senate’s refusal to act on the rest of his agenda – or devise fresh strategies to guide the country out of the epidemic doldrums.