OSHA announced Wednesday on its website the suspension of Biden’s vaccine mandate program, while defending the agency’s authority to implement it.
On November 12, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted a motion to stay OSHA’s COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard, published on November 5, 2021 (86 Fed. Reg. 61402) (“ETS”). The court ordered that OSHA “take no steps to implement or enforce” the ETS “until further court order.” While OSHA remains confident in its authority to protect workers in emergencies, OSHA has suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of the ETS pending future developments in the litigation.
The Fifth Circuit explained in its Friday ruling that OSHA’s attempt to police U.S. health policy “runs afoul of the statute from which it draws its power and, likely, violates the constitutional structure that safeguards our collective liberty.”
“For similar reasons, a stay is firmly in the public interest. From economic uncertainty to workplace strife, the mere specter of the Mandate has contributed to untold economic upheaval in recent months,” the court stated.
“Of course, the principles at stake when it comes to the Mandate are not reducible to dollars and cents. The public interest is also served by maintaining our constitutional structure and maintaining the liberty of individuals to make intensely personal decisions according to their own convictions—even, or perhaps particularly, when those decisions frustrate government officials.”
Following the ruling, the Biden administration filed a request Tuesday for a federal judicial review board to consolidate the over 30 state lawsuits against Biden’s vaccine mandate in a single court.
The Ohio-based Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals was chosen at random, via a ping-pong ball lottery, to decide whether to permanently halt Biden’s workplace vaccine mandate.
Presidents Donald Trump and George W. Bush appointed 11 of the 16 judges on the court.
The Biden administration has nevertheless urged U.S. businesses last week to ignore the court’s ruling and continue imposing an unconstitutional vaccine mandate anyway.