Just a week after hearing arguments on President Joe Biden’s COVID vaccine mandates, the United States Supreme Court has taken mixed action—blocking a mandate on large businesses, while maintaining another for healthcare workers.

In a 6-3 decision, the court ruled against a proposed Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirement that employers with more than 100 employees must require the COVID vaccine or weekly COVID testing.

“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. Requiring the vaccination of 84 million Americans, selected simply because they work for employers with more than 100 employees, certainly falls in the latter category,” the court said in their opinion.

But while that ruling has been largely celebrated by Texans in favor of medical freedom, a separate 5-4 ruling from the court upheld a requirement that requires employers that receive Medicaid and Medicare funds—namely hospitals and other healthcare providers—to mandate that their employees receive a COVID vaccine as a condition of employment.

That mandate had previously been halted by a Federal Judge in Texas.

With the mixed results from the U.S. Supreme Court, talk of a potential fourth special session of the Texas Legislature to ban vaccine mandates in the state has grown.

Special sessions, however, can only be called by the governor. Thus far, Gov. Greg Abbott has been hesitant to call lawmakers back, despite pushes from the Texas GOP and 30 lawmakers.

State Rep. Matt Schaefer (R–Tyler) said “Texas must act now” to protect healthcare workers, later adding that the requirement would crease “a serious, serous staffing crisis” in the industry.

 

While State Rep. Kyle Biedermann (R–Fredericksburg) said he was “pleased” to see the mandate on businesses struck down, he also echoed the need for another special session.

“It is more important than ever that a fourth special session be called so that we can protect all Texan’s rights! We can and must stand against the mandate now,” said Biedermann.

Meanwhile Matt Rinaldi, the Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas and a vocal opponent to vaccine mandates, called the rulings “overall, a good day,” but noted the necessity of states to act.