Federal appeals court temporarily blocks Biden’s OSHA rule mandating vaccines for workers

President Joe Biden’s private business COVID-19 vaccine mandate could be in trouble.

The Washington Examiner reports that a federal appeals court has placed a temporary stay on Biden’s vaccine mandate. 

In their ruling, the three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals said that those challenging the mandate offered sufficient evidence to suggest that there are “grave statutory and constitutional issues” with Biden’s mandate.

Now, the Biden administration has until Monday to respond to the ordered stay.

The controversial mandate

The mandate at issue is the one Biden announced in September that requires employers with 100 or more employees to force those employees to either get vaccinated against COVID-19 or to undergo weekly testing.

This week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the agency that Biden tasked with implementing the mandate, finally announced its rule, as Breitbart noted.

According to that rule, employers now have until Jan. 4 to comply with Biden’s mandate. The Biden administration announced that it will keep an eye on compliance with “planned inspections,” adding that those who fail to comply will be hit with hefty fines.

Within hours of OSHA’s announcement, over 20 Republican attorneys general brought lawsuits challenging the measure. As part of those lawsuits, a stay was requested to stop the mandate from going into effect while litigation determining the legality of the mandate takes place. Now, the stay has been granted.

Reactions from both sides

The Republicans challenging OSHA’s rule celebrated the federal court’s decision. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) tweeted, “Yesterday, I sued the Biden Admin over its unlawful OSHA vax mandate. WE WON.”

The Biden administration, however, has tried to appear unperturbed by the court’s ruling. White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Friday the administration is “very confident” that the mandate will survive the legal challenges brought by the Republicans.

Jean-Pierre emphasized the Biden administration’s position that OSHA’s rule is not a COVID-19 vaccine mandate but “a standard for a safe workplace.” This is exactly why Biden put OSHA in charge of the rule in the first place. The key is that a vaccine mandate would be more obviously unconstitutional.

We’ll see what the courts end up deciding on this issue. But, for now, it’s an early victory for Republicans, and all those opposed to what many believe is gross government overreach.

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