Update: The Court Speaks, Maintains Block on Biden Vaccine Mandate
The Latest Update Confirms That President Biden’s ETS Will Remain Blocked
On Friday, November 12, 2021, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals blocked President Joe Biden’s coronavirus vaccine mandate in a ruling.
The three-judge panel for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans affirmed its initial stay order from last week, stating that this mandate “grossly exceeds” the administration’s authority.
To recap, workers at larger businesses were told to get vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 4, 2022, or face regular testing under an OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) published on November 5, 2021. .
The ETS went into effect immediately before a “stay” was ordered by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Employers were originally required to comply with most requirements within 30 days of publication and with certain testing requirements within 60 days of publication.
Biden had set a January 4 deadline for such companies to ensure full vaccination of their employees — a rule the administration said would affect more than two-thirds of the country’s workforce and which the court ruling criticized as “staggeringly overbroad.”
The current ruling requires the stay to remain in place until the challenger’s request for a permanent injunction can be reviewed.
The issue is the constitutionality of a US president issuing such a sweeping nationwide mandate.
The three-judge panel in New Orleans, which included Judges Kurt D. Engelhardt, Edith H. Jones, and Stuart Kyle Duncan ruled that Biden’s mandate “grossly exceeds OSHA’s statutory authority,” writing that “rather than a delicately handled scalpel, the Mandate is a one-size fits-all sledgehammer that makes hardly any attempt to account for differences in workplaces (and workers) that have more than a little bearing on workers’ varying degrees of susceptibility to the supposedly ‘grave danger’ the Mandate purports to address.”