An appeals court has issued a stay and temporarily halted president Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for businesses with 100 or more employees.
The ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit came after multiple states’ attorney generals filed lawsuits against the administration.
The court said that they found “grave statutory and constitutional” issues with the supposed mandate.
“Yesterday, I sued the Biden Admin over its unlawful OSHA vax mandate,” Texas’ Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton tweeted Saturday.
“WE WON. Just this morning, citing “grave statutory and constitutional issues,” the 5th Circuit stayed the mandate. The fight is not over and I will never stop resisting this Admin’s unconstitutional overreach!”
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said the appeal stops President Biden “from moving forward with his unlawful overreach.”
“The president will not impose medical procedures on the American people without the checks and balances afforded by the constitution,” said a statement from Landry
At least 27 states filed lawsuits challenging the rule.
The government must provide an expedited reply to the motion for a permanent injunction latest by Monday Evening, followed by petitioners’ reply on Tuesday.
President Biden announced the new “vaccine or test” mandate last month after several months of rising cases and falling vaccination rates. The details of the new mandate were unveiled last week by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is in charge of policing and enforcing it.
Under the proposed rules, companies with at least 100 employees will have to show that their staff have either been fully vaccinated or are getting tested every week. Employees will not have to prove their vaccination status, but will be able to sign a self-attestation saying they have been vaccinated and understand they can be criminally punished for lying.
Many large companies have already imposed their own vaccine mandates, but business groups say smaller companies may struggle to do so. The Job Creators Network, a conservative business organization, said it had lodged a separate appeal against the rule, calling it “unconstitutional” and “detrimental”.
Solicitor of Labor Seema Nanda told Reuters that the Labor Department was “confident in its legal authority” to issue the rule, which will be enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
“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. “We are fully prepared to defend this standard in court.”
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