Federal Court Blocks Biden Admin’s Private Business COVID Vax Mandate

The Biden administration’s Covid-19 vaccination mandate for private employers was blocked on Saturday by a federal appeals court.

  • The motion to stay said requiring workers to be vaccinated may be unconstitutional, according to The Epoch Times.
  • A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit said in the brief order said, “Because the petitions give cause to believe there are grave statutory and constitutional issues with the mandate, the mandate is hereby STAYED pending further action by this court.”
  • The mandate’s suspension, which was announced this week, is only temporary as the lawsuit progresses.
  • Numerous corporations, including the American Family Association, as well as individuals and several states, including Texas, Utah, and Mississippi, filed the lawsuit.
  • The order, issued by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), should be thrown down, according to petitioners, since it exceeds OSHA’s power under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
  • They claimed that such authority only applies to occupational hazards, while Covid-19 poses a “society-wide danger.”
  • They further claimed that the regulation is illogical because establishing whether Coved-19 is a workplace danger is based on an employee’s age and health, not the number of coworkers.

“In an attempt to impose a nationwide vaccination mandate without approval from Congress, the executive branch has couched its COVID-19 vaccine mandate as an emergency workplace rule affecting nearly 100 million Americans. But the ETS is neither a workplace rule nor responsive to an emergency,” lawyers for the petitioners wrote in an emergency motion asking the court to impose a stay.

“Vaccination status is a public health issue that affects people throughout society; it is not a hazard particular to the workplace. And there is no need to use an emergency rule to address a pandemic that has been going on for nearly two years. Congress did not grant OSHA such sweeping powers in its authorizing statute,” they added.

Administration officials have in recent days said they’re confident the OSHA rule will withstand the flurry of legal challenges that were lodged after it was made public.

Solicitor of Labor Seema Nanda told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement that the administration is prepared to defend the mandate in court.

“The U.S. Department of Labor is confident in its legal authority to issue the emergency temporary standard on vaccination and testing. The Occupational Safety and Health Act explicitly gives OSHA the authority to act quickly in an emergency where the agency finds that workers are subjected to a grave danger and a new standard is necessary to protect them,” she said.

Brandon Trosclair, a petitioner who employs nearly 500 people across grocery stores in Louisiana and Mississippi, said in a statement that the ruling is “an incredible first victory for all Americans,” adding that the appeals court “quickly realized that the Biden employer vaccine mandate would cause great harm to businesses like mine.”

“The court’s action not only halts Biden from moving forward with his unlawful overreach, but it also commands the judicious review we sought. The president will not impose medical procedures on the American people without the checks and balances afforded by the Constitution,” Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, a Republican and one of the petitioners, said in a statement.

The panel consisted of Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan, a Trump nominee; Judge Edith Jones, a Reagan nominee; and Judge Kurt Engelhardt, a George W. Bush nominee.

The Biden administration was ordered to file a response to the petitioners’ motion for a permanent injunction by 5 p.m. on Monday and file a reply to other petitioner court documents by 5 p.m. on Tuesday.