Court of Appeals Suspends Vaccination Mandate on Large Businesses – Minnesota Lawyer


NEW ORLEANS – A federal appeals court on Saturday temporarily suspended the Biden administration’s vaccine requirement for companies with 100 or more workers.

The 5th U.S. Court of Appeals granted an emergency stay of the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s requirement that these workers be vaccinated by January 4 or the related requirements face mask and weekly tests.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said the action prevented President Joe Biden “from moving forward with its illegal scope.”

“The president will not impose medical procedures on the American people without the checks and balances provided by the constitution,” said a statement from Landry, a Republican.

Senior US Department of Labor legal counsel Solicitor of Labor Seema Nanda said the department was “confident in its legal authority to issue the temporary emergency vaccination and testing standard.”

OSHA has the power “to act quickly in an emergency when the agency finds that workers are in serious danger and a new standard is needed to protect them,” she said.

Department of Justice spokesman Anthony Coley said in a statement, “The OSHA Temporary Emergency Standard is a critical tool in keeping American workplaces safe as we fight to get out. of this pandemic. The Department of Justice will vigorously defend this rule in court. “

Such circuit decisions normally apply to states within a district – Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, in this case – but Landry said the language used by the judges gives the decision national significance.

“This is a great victory for the American people there. Never before has the federal government tried so forcefully to come between the choice of an American citizen and that of his doctor. , that’s the heart of the whole problem, ”he said.

At least 27 states have sued the rule in multiple circuits, some of which have been made more conservative by the judicial appointments of President Donald Trump.

The Biden administration has encouraged widespread immunizations as the fastest way to end the pandemic that has claimed more than 750,000 lives in the United States.

The administration says it believes the requirement, which includes penalties of nearly $ 14,000 per violation, will withstand legal challenges in part because its safety rules prevail over state laws.

The New Orleans-based 5th Circuit said it was delaying the federal vaccine requirement due to potential “serious statutory and constitutional issues” raised by the plaintiffs. The government is due to provide an expedited response to the permanent injunction motion on Monday, followed by the petitioners’ response on Tuesday.

Lawrence Gostin, a professor at the Georgetown University Law Center and director of the World Health Organization’s center on global health law, said it was troubling that a federal appeals court would stop or delay the rules of safety in the event of a health crisis, asserting that no one has the right to enter a workplace “without a mask, without vaxx and without testing”.

“Unelected judges who have no scientific background should not question the health and safety professionals at OSHA,” he said.

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