Kentucky Association of Counties

KACo Logo

The Kentucky Association of Counties

Supreme Court blocks enforcement of Biden’s COVID vaccine and testing mandate

The U.S. Supreme Court has blocked enforcement of Pres. Biden’s vaccine and testing mandate for employers with more than 100 employees, including Kentucky counties.

In Nov. 2021, the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) issued an emergency regulation requiring employers with 100 or more employees to adopt and enforce a written policy mandating that most employees be vaccinated or get tested weekly and wear face masks.

In Kentucky, this regulation would have been applicable to public employers, including counties.

Business groups, religious entities and 27 State Attorneys General - including Kentucky's Attorney General Daniel Cameron - sued to challenge the OSHA policy.

In an unsigned opinion, the court said: “Although Congress has indisputably given OSHA the power to regulate occupational dangers, it has not given that agency the power to regulate public health more broadly.”

The ruling was divided, with the court’s three liberal Justices offering a joint dissent, writing: “Acting outside of its competence and without legal basis, the Court displaces the judgments of the Government officials given the responsibility to respond to workplace health emergencies.”

You can read the full ruling here.

Kentucky Association of Counties
400 Englewood Drive, Frankfort, KY 40601