Court of Appeals extends freeze on Biden vaccine mandate for employers

WASHINGTON – A federal appeals court has upheld its block against a federal mandate that all major employers require their workers to ge...


WASHINGTON – A federal appeals court has upheld its block against a federal mandate that all major employers require their workers to get their coronavirus vaccinations or submit to weekly tests starting in January, saying the rule “exceeds largely ”the authority of the workplace safety agency that issued it.

In a 22-page decision Released on Friday, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans found that a group of warrant challengers issued by the Biden administration were likely to succeed in his claim that this was an exaggerated illegal act and prevented the government from moving forward.

“From economic uncertainty to workplace conflict, the mere specter of tenure has contributed to untold economic upheaval in recent months,” Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt wrote.

He added: “Of course, the principles involved in terms of the mandate cannot be reduced to dollars and cents. The public interest is also served by maintaining our constitutional structure and maintaining the freedom of individuals to make intensely personal decisions based on their own beliefs – even, or perhaps particularly, when those decisions frustrate representatives of the government. government. “

He was accompanied by Justices Edith H. Jones and Kyle Duncan. All three are nominated by Republicans.

In a deposit asking the fifth circuit to withdraw their stay This week, the Justice Department argued that requiring large employers to force their workers to be vaccinated or undergo weekly tests was well within the powers granted by Congress to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA. He also said that blocking the mandate would have dire consequences.

Preventing the entry into force of the mandate “would likely cost dozens, if not hundreds of lives a day, in addition to a large number of hospitalizations, other serious health effects and enormous costs,” the Minister said. Ministry of Justice in his file. “It is a confluence of highest order misdeeds. “

The decision of the Fifth Circuit panel is unlikely to be the last word. Some mandate challenges are found in other channels, and cases will be consolidated in one of these randomly selected jurisdictions. The Supreme Court should ultimately decide the issue.

Justice Department spokeswoman Dena Iverson said the Biden administration would defend the mandate through this process.

“Today’s decision is just the start of the process to revise this important OSHA standard,” she said in a statement. “The department will continue to vigorously defend the standard and look forward to obtaining a final resolution after all outstanding cases are consolidated for further consideration.”

President Biden announced in September that his administration would issue the mandate as one of many measures to try to increase vaccination rates and end the pandemic, which has so far killed an estimated 750,000 Americans. Other mandates applied to federal employees and federal contractors.

In early November, OSHA, part of the Department of Labor, released the standard for companies with 100 or more employees. That would force them to require unvaccinated employees to wear masks indoors from December 5. Employees who are not vaccinated by Jan. 4 should undergo weekly testing at work.

The proposed rule makes an exception for employees who do not come into close contact with other people at their work, such as those who work from home or exclusively outside.

A coalition of plaintiffs – including several employers and Republican-controlled states – immediately challenged the employer’s mandate in court. Their trial argued that the mandate was an illegal override that went beyond the authority Congress rightfully delegated to OSHA.

Among other things, they argued that the agency did not have the power to regulate protections against exposure to diseases, as opposed to workplace hazards like asbestos, and that define the mandate as a Workplace safety effort was just a pretext for the Biden administration’s real motivation: to lobby Americans who were reluctant to get vaccinated.

Justice Englehardt’s decision strongly supported their point of view.

OSHA, he wrote, was created by Congress to ensure safe and healthy working conditions, but was not “intended to authorize an administration of workplace safety in the depths of federal bureaucracy. to make sweeping statements on public health issues affecting every member of society in the deepest way.

The judge also derided the idea that the circumstances of the rule put forward by OSHA, under the authority granted by Congress for “emergency” situations, were characterized as emergency.

“The stated impetus for the mandate – a so-called ’emergency’ the whole world has been undergoing for nearly two years, and to which OSHA itself has spent nearly two months responding – is also unsuccessful,” he said. -he writes. “And its enactment goes well beyond the statutory authority of OSHA.”

Some large employers have already announced vaccination mandates for their workforce, including 3M, Procter & Gamble, IBM, Tyson Foods and airlines American, Alaska, JetBlue and United. Most of the workers complied, although a small number resigned.

Former President Donald J. Trump appointed both Judge Englehardt and Judge Duncan in 2018. Judge Jones was appointed by former President Ronald Reagan in 1985.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Court of Appeals extends freeze on Biden vaccine mandate for employers
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