Federal Appeals Court Blocks Joe Biden’s COVID Vaccine Mandate

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 6, 2021   |   4:50PM   |   Washington, DC

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a ruling this afternoon temporarily halting Joe Biden’s COVID vaccine mandate for private employers. A total of 27 states have so far filed lawsuits against the mandate along with countless businesses and organizations.

Biden directed OSHA to make a new “workplace safety” rule: any employer with 100 or more employees must require those employees to be vaccinated or submit to weekly testing. Private and religious employers failing to comply could be subject to crippling fines. Eighty million Americans could be affected.

From the pro-life perspective, the vaccine mandate can compel pro-life Americans to get vaccines that are linked to research using cells from aborted babies. And it would force Christian employers to make their employees get such vaccines that would violate their pro-life or religious views.

In a ruling issued Saturday on a lawsuit filed by state attorneys general, the court ordered the vaccine mandate to be temporarily halted. The mandate was to be enforced through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and set to go into effect Jan. 4.

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“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 court wrote.

Speaking for the Biden administration, Solicitor of Labor Seema Nanda vowed to fight the 5th Circuit’s rulin.

“The U.S. Department of Labor is confident in its legal authority to issue the emergency temporary standard on vaccination and testing. The Occupational Safety and Health Act explicitly gives OSHA the authority to act quickly in an emergency where the agency finds that workers are subjected to a grave danger and a new standard is necessary to protect them,” Nanda said.

She claimed the Department of Labor was “fully prepared to defend this standard in court.”

Missouri and Attorneys General in 10 other states filed the lawsuit. Arizona, Nebraska, Montana, Arkansas, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Alaska, New Hampshire and Wyoming joined the Show me State to file the lawsuit. The suit is not just led by Republicans as the office of Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, a Democrat, also joined in the lawsuit.

Other states like Florida, Oklahoma, Georgia and Texas have also filed their own suits or are planning to join this collective suit filed in the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

On Thursday, AGs in Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia and Ohio filed their own lawsuit against the mandate. And Louisiana, Mississippi and Indiana filed their own suit together as well.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt argued the mandate violates state rights and that states should have the authority to have or not have public health mandates as opposed to the federal government.

“The federal government should not be forcing private employers to require their employees to get vaccinated or foot the cost to test those employees weekly,” he said. “Local business owners have told me that the vaccine mandate would decimate their businesses, including some that have been around for decades, and they’re certainly not alone – there are thousands of businesses in Missouri alone that could be negatively affected by this mandate.”

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“For over a century, the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized that policies on compulsory vaccination lie within the police powers of the States, and that ‘[t]hey are matters that do not ordinarily concern the national government,’ ” the complaint read. “This mandate is unconstitutional, unlawful, and unwise. The federal government lacks constitutional authority under its enumerated powers to issue this mandate.”

With many Christian employers and employees not wanting to get the vaccine for religious reasons and with pro-life Americans having concerns about the various vaccines and their ties to cells from aborted babies, the pro-life legal group Alliance Defend Freedom announced yesterday that it will file suit against the mandate.

Michael Farris, the president of ADF, told LifeNews, “Americans may have many different opinions about COVID-19 vaccines, but every American should agree that the Biden administration’s threatened mandate is a vast and unlawful executive power grab.”

“If politicians and bureacrats are allowed to brazenly ignore the constitutional limits on their power whenever they please, we no longer live in a free society,” he said. “Under the Constitution and federal law, OSHA does not have the power to issue such a sweeping mandate for private and religious employers.”

Farris noted how many pro-life Americans have qualms with the vaccines.

“Many people of good faith have chosen to be vaccinated. Others have refrained for reasons of conscience or personal health reasons,” he said, adding that government overreach is a huge problem.

“If allowed to stand, government officials will be emboldened—and have the precedent—to reach for more. And the freedoms that ADF and people like you work together to protect—free speech, religious freedom, and more—will be further jeopardized by an overreaching federal government,” he said.

Farris explained that the mandate will hurt churches and Christian groups.

“It doesn’t matter where you stand on vaccines. The government threatens our liberty whenever it unilaterally invents and aggressively enforces new mandates and powers in violation of the Constitution. Vaccinated or not, government overreach hurts all of us,” he continued. “It’s not the federal government’s job to force private employers and churches to choose between complying with the mandate or terminating their employees. To do so will hurt businesses, churches, ministries, and families.”

He concluded, “Challenging the federal government in court is costly. But more costly is standing by and doing nothing while that same government abuses its power.”

The Daily Wire, a conservative news web site, has also filed suit against the mandate.