Supreme Court weighs vaccine rules affecting more than 80M

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court began hearing arguments Friday on major Biden administration work rules to bump up the nation’s vaccination rate against COVID-19 at a time of spiking coronavirus cases because of the omicron variant.

The justices were taking up the questions of whether to allow the administration to enforce a vaccine-or-testing requirement that applies to large employers and a separate vaccine mandate for most health care workers. The arguments were expected to last at least two hours.

Early in the arguments some members of the court’s conservative majority expressed skepticism for the employer rule. Justice Neil Gorsuch and Chief Justice John Roberts suggested officials had overstepped. Roberts said it’s “hard to argue” that officials had been given the power to act by Congress. Justice Amy Coney Barrett suggested that a problem with the rule was its broad scope.