The Biden Administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate issued this week by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) hit a major roadblock almost immediately at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, which has stayed (stopped) the effect of the mandate pending a further hearing.
Responding to a petition from the states of Texas, Mississippi, Utah, South Carolina and Louisiana, joined by dozens of private and faith-based businesses, a three-judge panel from the 5th Circuit issued a brief order on Saturday, November 6, stopping the mandate in its tracks, while scheduling an expedited hearing within the next few days.
“Before the court is the petitioners’ emergency motion to stay enforcement of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s November 5, 2021 Emergency Temporary Standard (the “Mandate”) pending expedited judicial review,” the order states. “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 court then sets a schedule for an expedited hearing.
“The Government shall respond to the petitioners’ motion for a permanent injunction by 5:00 PM on Monday, November 8. The petitioners shall file any reply by 5:00 PM on Tuesday, November 9.”
The mandate, which requires employers with 100 or more workers to require vaccinations or weekly testing and mask-wearing by unvaccinated employees, has also been challenged in three other federal circuits – the 6th, 8th and 11th.
The 490-page OSHA mandate constitutes a “dubious reach of federal power,” according to The Wall Street Journal.
“As 24 GOP state Attorneys General explained in a September letter to Mr. Biden, OSHA is stretching its authority under the law because ‘emergency temporary standards’ are supposed to be limited to ‘grave danger from exposure to substances or agents determined to be toxic or physically harmful or from new hazards,’” The WSJ reports. “The law ‘deals with work-related hazards, not all hazards one might encounter anywhere in the world,’ they note.”
The mandate will impact 84 million American workers if it becomes effective.
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