Appeals Court Hits Brakes on Biden’s Vax Mandate Citing Possible ‘Grave Constitutional Issues’
New Orleans, LA — A federal court has temporarily halted the implementation of President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccination and testing mandate for private businesses.
Earlier this week the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published its 490-page emergency temporary standard (ETS) rule which forces employers — with 100 employees or more — to require employees to be fully vaccinated by January 4, 2022, or ensure all unvaccinated employees wear a facial covering and provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test each week.
The ETS was immediately challenged in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit by Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Utah, as well as dozens more petitioners.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed the lawsuit and claims OSHA’s ETS, which was slated to become effective as of December 5, 2021, is “flatly unconstitutional.”
The lawsuit asked the Court for both an emergency stay of enforcement as well as a permanent injunction essentially rendering the ETS unlawful.
On Saturday morning, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an opinion on the petitioners’ request for an emergency stay.
“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 three-judge panel said.
The Department of Labor (DOL) was ordered to respond to the petitioners’ motion for a permanent injunction by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 8.
The petitioners will then have until 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 9, to respond to the DOL’s response.
No matter the outcome in the Fifth Circuit, many legal experts believe this issue is destined to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The White House has expressed confidence the ETS will ultimately be deemed lawful and within OSHA’s authority since “extraordinary circumstances” exist, and the mandate does not strictly require employee vaccination as the only option businesses must deploy to mitigate the “grave danger” posed by COVID-19 in the workplace.
TransportationNation.com will continue to track it closely.