Supreme Court schedules Jan. 7 oral arguments on Biden's vaccine mandates
Why it matters: The mandates have faced a series of lawsuits from Republican-led states, businesses and religious coalitions.
- Lower courts remain divided on the issue — some have blocked enforcement of the mandates, calling them an overstep.
The requirements: Private companies with at least 100 employees must ensure that their workers are either fully vaccinated or tested weekly.
- All health care workers at federally funded facilities must also get vaccinated.
- The deadlines for both mandates to take effect have been pushed back several times, in part because of the legal proceedings.
Worth noting: The Supreme Court has thus far generally declined to block challenges to individual states' vaccine mandates.
What they're saying: White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement on Wednesday night that "especially as the U.S. faces the highly transmissible Omicron variant, it is critical to protect workers with vaccination requirements and testing protocols that are urgently needed."
- The Biden administration was "confident in the legal authority for both policies and the [Justice Department] will vigorously defend both at the Supreme Court," Psaki added.
Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.