The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit will decide all qualified lawsuits challenging the Biden administration’s private employer vaccine mandate issued via the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, as determined by a random lottery required by federal law that the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation held Tuesday.
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys currently represent clients challenging the mandate in the 6th, 8th, and 11th circuits.
The U.S. Department of Justice requested that all of the qualified cases nationwide filed in various federal appellate courts, including four cases in which ADF attorneys represent clients, be consolidated at one circuit. The official process is to choose the circuit via random lottery attended by witnesses, and the 6th Circuit was chosen in this lottery. Federal law requires the lottery upon request when two or more petitions for review are filed in multiple circuit courts on the same legal matter.
“The Biden administration’s decision to mandate vaccines through an OSHA emergency rule is unlawful and compels employers like our clients to intrude on their employees’ personal health decisions,” said ADF Senior Counsel Ryan Bangert. “We are pleased to have two pivotal cases in the 6th Circuit in addition to our cases in other circuits, and we look forward to continuing our litigation to ensure that no private employer is compelled to become an agent of the government for the purpose of forcing their employees into a medical procedure.”
ADF attorneys represent clients in The Daily Wire v. Occupational Safety and Health Administration and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary v. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, both filed in the 6th Circuit; State of Missouri v. Biden, filed in the 8th Circuit; and State of Florida v. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, filed in the 11th Circuit.
Some 27 states have filed lawsuits against the mandate.
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.
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.”
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.
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.