Biden ‘Disappointed’ as Trucking Cheers ‘Tremendous Victory’ in Vax-or-Test Mandate Case
Washington D.C. — Trucking industry groups are celebrating after the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) blocked the enforcement of the Biden Administration’s COVID-19 vaccination-or-testing mandate on large private businesses.
In a 6-3 opinion issued on Thursday, SCOTUS said the Occupational Health and Safety Agency’s (OSHA) emergency temporary standard (ETS) — which forces employers with 100 employees or more to require employees be fully vaccinated or ensure all unvaccinated employees wear a facial covering and provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test each week — exceeds the Agency’s statutory authority and represents a “significant encroachment into the lives — and health — of a vast number of employees.”
The American Trucking Associations (ATA), along with multiple state trucking groups, were among the organizations challenging the constitutionality of OSHA’s ETS.
ATA President and CEO Chris Spear quickly reacted to the news calling it a “tremendous victory on behalf of the trucking industry and workers and employers everywhere.”
“Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court validates our claim that OSHA far overstepped its authority in issuing an emergency temporary standard that would interfere with individuals’ private health care decisions,” Spear declared. “Thanks to this ruling, our industry will continue to deliver critical goods, as our nation recovers from the pandemic and we move our economy forward.”
David Heller, vice president of government affairs for the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA), which also strongly opposed the ETS, commended SCOTUS for issuing a timely decision.
“We applaud the Court for moving quickly on this ruling as the deadline for compliance with the ETS was expected to go into effect earlier this week,” Heller said.
Heller told Transportation Nation Network (TNN) on Thursday, TCA member carriers were anticipating this outcome, but the certainty moving forward will be of great benefit.
“The one thing TCA members want to do is be able to plan their operations,” he noted. “We will continue to represent the frontline of this pandemic and deliver the goods this country needs.”
President Biden also responded to the decision, saying, “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.”
The President once again challenged private businesses to impose a vaccination requirement on workers.
“I call on business leaders to immediately join those who have already stepped up – including one third of Fortune 100 companies – and institute vaccination requirements to protect their workers, customers, and communities.”
At a press briefing on Thursday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki did not rule out the possibility the Biden Administration could repackage and issue a similar mandate in the future, but with a more narrow focus.
TransportationNation.com will continue to monitor the issue.