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Iowans react to SCOTUS ruling on vaccine mandates

The split decision by the nation's highest court impacts everyone, including Iowans.

DES MOINES, Iowa — For months now the Biden administration's looming vaccine mandate has been a source of contention across the country and right here in Iowa.

On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in on that debate by blocking, specifically, the Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandate that would require employers with more than 100 employees to require their workforce to get the COVID-19 or get tested weekly.

The ruling is good news, according to Joe Murphey, executive director of the Iowa Business Council.

"It gives the businesses the ability to choose their own path, so to speak, and this ruling while it eliminates the mandate, it preserves the right for businesses to make decisions based on whether or not they want to vaccinate their employees," Murphy said.

He added that Thursday's ruling also helps eliminate confusion.

"It was a very broad blanketed mandate that was being put down. but then when we factored in the different rulings that came in right away, layered on top of other state requirements and other municipal requirements," Murphy said. "It really started to create a patchwork system with all different sorts of rules and regulations."

Meanwhile, Informed Choice Iowa, an organization that advocates for medical freedom had been watching this case closely.

"It is definitely a decision we have been monitoring because of the impacts...the issue that we're most passionate about, which is medical freedom," said Lindsay Maher, the legislative team leader for the organization.

Maher said the organization had hoped the court had gone further to include blocking the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services rule that's still in place for many health care workers.

"I don't quite understand why they aren't allowing people to have the right to their bodily autonomy and the right to their medical privacy, especially given the fact that transmission is not blocked with this vaccine. The vaccinated and the unvaccinated pose the exact same threat to transmission of this virus," Maher said.

WATCH | SCOTUS halts Biden administration's vaccine rule for businesses, keeps health care worker mandate