Federal Court of Appeals upholds vaccine authorization for large companies
On Saturday, the Federal Court of Appeals temporarily suspended the Biden administration’s vaccine requirements for companies with 100 or more workers.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit approved the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s requirements for these workers to be vaccinated or mask requirements and weekly testing requirements before January 4.
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry stated that this action prevented President Joe Biden from “continuing his illegal ultra vires.”
Republican Landry said in a statement: “The president will not impose medical procedures on the American people without the checks and balances provided by the Constitution.”
U.S. Department of Labor’s top legal counsel and labor attorney Simmananda stated that the department “has full confidence in its legal authority to issue emergency interim standards for vaccination and testing.”
She said that OSHA has the right to “act quickly in emergency situations where the agency finds that workers are in serious danger and need to develop new standards to protect them.”
Anthony Coley, a spokesperson for the Department of Justice, said in a statement: “As we work to get rid of this epidemic, the OSHA Emergency Interim Standards are a key tool to ensure workplace safety in the United States. The Department of Justice will This rule was vigorously defended in court.”
This type of circuit ruling usually applies to the states within a region—in this case, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas—but Landry said the language used by the judge gives the ruling nationwide .
“This is a great victory for the American people. The federal government has never tried to choose between American citizens and their doctors in such a powerful way. For me, this is the core of the whole problem,” he Say.
At least 27 states have filed lawsuits in several circuit courts to challenge the rule, some of which have become more conservative due to President Donald Trump’s judicial appointment.
The Biden administration has always encouraged widespread vaccination as the fastest way to end this pandemic that claimed more than 750,000 lives in the United States.
The government said it is confident that the requirements, including a fine of nearly $14,000 per violation, will withstand legal challenges, partly because its safety rules take precedence over state laws.
The Fifth Circuit in New Orleans said it was delaying federal vaccine requests due to potential “serious statutory and constitutional issues” raised by the plaintiff. The government must respond quickly to the motion for a permanent injunction on Monday, and then respond to the petitioners on Tuesday.
Lawrence Gostin, a professor at the Georgetown University Law Center and director of the World Health Organization’s Center for Global Health Law, said that the Federal Court of Appeals’ suspension or postponement of safety rules during a health crisis is disturbing. He said that no one has the right to enter. “No masks, no vaccines, and no tests” workplaces.
“Unelected judges with no scientific experience should not guess after the fact among OSHA health and safety professionals,” he said.