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U.S. Appeals Court Stays Biden’s OSHA Vaccine Mandate for Private Employers

On November 6, 2021, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stayed the Biden Administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for businesses with 100 or more workers. The emergency stay lifts the requirement by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, (OSHA), that workers be vaccinated by Jan. 4 or seek weekly testing and wear face masks at work. The decision stops the mandate from taking effect pending further action by the court.

“I applaud the federal court’s decision to block federal overreach,” said Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy. “It’s an important victory as it validates what states like Alaska have been saying all along–that the recent federal mandate by President Biden to coerce individuals to get a vaccine, or else, is unconstitutional.”

In the decision the 5th Circuit wrote, “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.”

On Friday, the state of Alaska filed a federal lawsuit in a different circuit, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, to block the implementation of this COVID-19 vaccine mandate on private employers and states like Alaska that have a state Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) plan.

Governor Dunleavy last Tuesday, issued an Administrative Order directing State agencies to oppose unconstitutional actions, including vaccine mandates by Biden. 

This 5th Circuit case is brought by the states of Texas, Mississippi, Utah, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Utah.  According to the Louisiana Attorney General, the decision applies nationwide.    

Some 27 states filed lawsuits challenging the rule in several circuits. Several businesses have also challenged the mandate in the 5th Circuit.

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