The U.S. Supreme Court has set January 7 as the day for oral arguments in cases challenging the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine requirements for large employers and certain health care workers.

For now, the court is leaving in place the requirements. The administration has said it will not begin enforcing the mandate until January 10, and the government has said it will be letting the legal challenges play out and feels “confident in the legal authority for both policies.”

“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,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement. “At a critical moment for the nation’s health, the OSHA vaccination or testing rule ensures that employers are protecting their employees and the CMS health care vaccination requirement ensures that providers are protecting their patients. We are confident in the legal authority for both policies and DOJ will vigorously defend both at the Supreme Court.”

The move, a rare one by the court, to bypass the normal process and hear oral arguments now comes as the Omicron variant attempts to thwart the holiday season.

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