On November 4, the Biden Administration announced, via the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), that as of January 4, employers with 100 or more employees must require those employees to either be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing and wear masks.
The Daily Citizen previously reported that one of the first lawsuits filed to challenge the OSHA mandate belonged to The Daily Wire, represented by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). That lawsuit was filed in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Ohio.
It also turns out that lawsuit was only the beginning of the legal pushback on the vaccine mandate.
On November 5, ADF announced additional lawsuits in three federal courts.
A new lawsuit challenging the mandate was filed in the 8th Circuit, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. It was filed on behalf of several Christian organizations, 11 states, and the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). Attorneys general from Missouri, Arizona, Nebraska, Montana, Arkansas, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Alaska, New Hampshire and Wyoming join Doolittle Trailer Mfg., Inc., Christian Employers Alliance, Sioux Falls Catholic Schools and the HSLDA in asserting that the OSHA mandate, called an “Emergency Temporary Standard” (ETS), exceeds the authority of the federal government.
“The administration’s decision to mandate vaccines through an emergency standard issued by OSHA is unlawful and compels employers like our clients to intrude on their employees’ personal health decisions,” said ADF Senior Counsel Ryan Tucker in a press release. “The government has no authority to tell 80 million people that they must be vaccinated or tested, and it cannot compel employers to become vaccine agents to achieve that same illegal result. We are pleased to join this coalition of states in asking the 8th Circuit to put a stop to it immediately.”
ADF also announced the filing of another challenge in the 11th Circuit, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Two Christian schools, The Kings Academy and Cambridge Christian School join attorneys general from Florida, Alabama and Georgia and several other companies and associations in asking the appellate court to review the OSHA mandate.
Finally, ADF announced another petition filed in the 6th Circuit, in addition to The Daily Wire’s petition, on behalf of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Asbury Theological Seminary.
“The Biden administration’s decision to mandate vaccines through an OSHA emergency rule is unlawful and compels employers like our clients to intrude on their employees’ personal health decisions and divert resources from their important mission of training future ministers,” said ADF Senior Counsel Ryan Bangert in the ADF press release. “The government has no authority to unilaterally treat unvaccinated employees like workplace hazards or to compel employers to become vaccine commissars, and we are asking the 6th Circuit to put a stop to it immediately. We are honored to represent these two theological seminaries at this critical time and help ensure they can continue to serve their students and communities without government interference.”
Dr. Albert Mohler, the president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and also a former member of the board of directors of Focus on the Family, spoke about his institution’s reasons for initiating the legal challenge.
“It is unacceptable for the government to force religious institutions to become coercive extensions of state power. We have no choice but to push back against this intrusion of the government into matters of conscience and religious conviction,” said Mohler.
“This institution exists for the purpose of educating ministers for churches. This seminary must not be forced to stand in for the government in investigating the private health decisions of our faculty and employees in a matter involving legitimate religious concerns. We are glad to join with Asbury Theological Seminary in taking a stand against government coercion.
“The fact that the largest U.S. seminaries of the Baptist and Methodist traditions are here standing together against this mandate should send a clear and urgent message to Christians and to the nation. I am thankful for the excellent work of Alliance Defending Freedom as they present our petition to the court.”
We’ll keep you apprised of developments as these lawsuits proceed through the federal courts.
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