SC governor, AG praise SCOTUS vaccine ruling

Coronavirus

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster responded to Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling that blocked a vaccine mandate for employers, saying employers could “breathe a little easier.”

“Today’s SCOTUS ruling on OSHA is a victory for the rule of law, federalism, and the Constitution,” McMaster tweeted. “South Carolina employers can breathe a little easier today knowing that President Biden and the Democrat’s radical agenda and illegal OSHA mandate has been exposed and disposed.”

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson also responded to the decision and said he is grateful to the Supreme Court. Wilson also responded to the Supreme Court’s ruling that the mandate for health care workers could move forward.

“While the court has upheld the legality of the CMS/healthcare mandate, as a matter of public policy I still think it’s garbage,” Wilson said in a statement. “Congress makes the law, not the President.”

The court’s conservative majority concluded the administration overstepped its authority by seeking to impose the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s vaccine-or-test rule on U.S. businesses with at least 100 employees. More than 80 million people would have been affected.

Both rules had been challenged by Republican-led states. In addition, business groups attacked the OSHA emergency regulation as too expensive and likely to cause workers to leave their jobs at a time when finding new employees already is difficult.

The vaccine mandate that the court will allow to be enforced nationwide covers virtually all health care workers in the country. It applies to health care providers that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid funding, potentially affecting 76,000 health care facilities as well as home health care providers. The rule has medical and religious exemptions.

In the healthcare case, only justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito noted their dissents. “The challenges posed by a global pandemic do not allow a federal agency to exercise power that Congress has not conferred upon it. At the same time, such unprecedented circumstances provide no grounds for limiting the exercise of authorities the agency has long been recognized to have,” the justices wrote in an unsigned opinion, saying the “latter principle governs” in the healthcare cases.

On Thursday, South Carolina reported more than 10,000 cases of COVID-19 and 14 confirmed deaths.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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