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Prof. Eric Feldman says SCOTUS decision denies ‘OSHA the opportunity to protect millions of workers from the possibility of COVID-19-related hospitalization and death’

January 14, 2022

Feldman is an expert in comparative public health law, particularly in the context of regulations surrounding COVID-19 and other urgent policy issues.

Eric Feldman, Heimbold Chair in International Law, Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, has issued the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s recent decision that blocks President Biden’s vaccine mandate for large employers:

Unfortunately, and to the great detriment of the health and safety of American workers, the conservative majority of Justices believe that OSHA lacks the power to impose a workplace test or vax mandate.

In fact, for OSHA it is ‘head I win, tails you lose,’ as Justice Gorsuch makes clear in his concurrence. In his view, Congress has not given OSHA the power to issue such a test or vax mandate. If it did, he claims, Congress would run afoul of the Constitution because giving OSHA such expansive power would constitute ‘an unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority.’

In expressing their distaste for robust regulatory action, the majority has denied OSHA the opportunity to protect millions of workers from the possibility of COVID-19-related hospitalization and death. 

An expert in comparative public health law, particularly in the context of regulations concerning COVID-19 and other urgent policy issues, Feldman is also Professor of Medical Ethics & Health Policy and Deputy Dean for International Programs.

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