U.S. Supreme Court Takes Up Vaccine Mandate

What retailers need to know as the nation’s highest court heard oral arguments today on OSHA’s rule.

January 07, 2022

Supreme Court Gavel and COVID-19 Vaccine

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Today, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on two separate legal challenges brought by NACS and multiple states regarding the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s vaccine-or-test rule for private employers.

NACS recorded a special Convenience Matters podcast this week to highlight what retailers need to know and how quickly the high court could rule.

Lawsuits were filed in every U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals to challenge OSHA’s vaccine mandate, said Doug Kantor, NACS general counsel. “The fact that they’re hearing from us in our suit, along with the other business groups, is significant. It gives us a great opportunity to impress upon the nine justices why the particulars of what OSHA has done are a problem … we want vaccines—it would be great if everyone was vaccinated—it’s just not a situation in the country right now where OSHA can wave a magic wand and have us achieve what we all wish were true,” he said.

As to why a retailer suit that includes NACS is receiving attention from the Supreme Court, Kantor cited two reasons. First, the suit represents a broad group, from truckers to retailers. Second, NACS’ legal strategy was strong.

“We did not attack what OSHA did on all fronts and say everything under the sun is wrong with it. We simply made the case that they don’t have the statutory authority for what they did in this case. And they should have at the least gone through a full notice and comment rulemaking and gotten information from our industry and others before they took action, because it would’ve led them to very different conclusions in light of the fact that we’ve got a labor shortage and really bad consequences could turn out from this rule as well,” Kantor said.

Tune into this special episode of Convenience Matters to hear more about today’s Supreme Court proceedings, and be on the lookout for updates in NACS Daily as we await the court’s ruling.