President Joe Biden’s big business vaccine mandate is now suspended by a federal court, pending more court action. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a brief order on Saturday, forbidding the administration from enforcing its requirement.
Directed by Biden, the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration released rules on November 4 that compel businesses with 100 or more employees to enforce a vaccine requirement for staff, and obtain proof of each worker’s vaccine status. Any employee who is not fully vaccinated will be made to wear a mask indoors and undergo weekly COVID testing, according to OSHA, beginning January 4, 2022. It has been widely reported that the regulation covers an estimated 84 million Americans.
Now the rule stands in limbo until the 5th Circuit addresses the matter again. The meat of the ruling is a single sentence:
“Because the petitions give cause to believe there are grave statutory and constitutional issues with the Mandate, the Mandate is hereby stayed pending further action by this court.”
The lead plaintiffs on the petition are several corporations owned by Brandon Trosclair, who employs nearly 500 people across 15 grocery stores in Louisiana and Mississippi. He said:
“This is an incredible first victory for all Americans that the Fifth Circuit so quickly realized that the Biden employer vaccine mandate would cause great harm to businesses like mine. As the legal process continues, I look forward to sharing more of my story. This stay is a great first step by the court.”
Mr. Trosclair is represented by the Liberty Justice Center and the Pelican Institute for Public Policy. His attorney, Sarah Harbison with Pelican, said, “I am confident that the courts will see this mandate for what it truly is: An attempt to make laws while bypassing Congress.” On Thursday, Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis announced his opposition to the mandate based on similar objections and promised that he would also be suing.
The order from the court was issued by three judges in what is by far the nation’s most conservative appellate Circuit. Two of the judges are Trump appointees, and President Reagan appointed the other. After announcing the stay, the court gave the Biden administration until 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 8, to respond. Then the plaintiffs have one day to reply with a Tuesday, Nov. 9 deadline, also at 5 p.m.
~ Read more from Scott D. Cosenza.