On Thursday, a federal court upheld Joe Biden’s mandate that all federal government employees be forced to take a coronavirus vaccine.
The New York Post reports that the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, Louisiana issued a ruling that overturned a lower court’s decision to block the mandate, which was first issued in September of 2021. In January, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Brown had ruled the mandate unconstitutional, determining that the rule constituted an overstep in federal authority.
One of the lawyers in the historic U.S. Supreme Court case that blocked the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate on private business is warning it is only a preliminary victory and the larger constitutional issues about government-compelled inoculations must still be litigated.
“In some ways, yesterday was a win of a major battle, but still leaves the war to be fought,” said Robert Henneke, executive director and general counsel at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, which filed one of the original challenges in Texas against the vaccine mandate that was eventually consolidated before the Supreme Court.
“While it got to the right outcome for declaring the private employer vax mandate unlawful, it kind of misses the forest for the trees because it leaves these broader questions of federal power unresolved,” he told the John Solomon Reports podcast.
The Supreme Court on Friday hearing oral arguments on two major Biden administration efforts to increase the country’s vaccination rate against COVID-19 — starting with the mandate requiring large-scale employers to require workers to be vaccinated or tested.
In the first case, the National Federation of Independent Business, et al., Applicants v. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, et al.
OSHA is more specifically requiring businesses with 100 or more workers either require them to be vaccinated or et tested weekly and wear masks while working, with exceptions for those who work outdoors.
Three Arizona members of Congress are joining in on a lawsuit against the Biden administration over its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for businesses with 100 or more employees. Reps. Paul Gosar (R-04-Ariz.), Andy Biggs (R-05-Ariz.), and Debbie Lesko (R-08-Ariz.) along with 180 other members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate filed an amicus curiae brief in NFIB v. OSHA challenging the authority of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to implement the mandate.
The members of Congress argued that the mandate violates federalism, encroaching on the states’ authority. “[T]he sudden ‘discovery’ of authority under the OSH Act confirms that it was never intended to displace state authority in this area.” They assert, “Congress did not give that power to an agency bureaucrat.”
President Joe Biden is struggling to win in court as well as the court of public opinion when it comes to his response to COVID-19.
Biden’s approval rating on his handling of the pandemic has steadily dropped as he has issued more vaccine mandates, with one of those mandates seemingly dead in the water.
Private employers around the country are implementing COVID-19 vaccine mandates, some in response to the mandate implemented by President Joe Biden on businesses with 100 or more employees through the Occupational and Safety Health Act (OSHA), and Arizona Rep. Shawnna Bolick (R-Phoenix) is pushing back. Bolick sent a letter to Mayo Clinic in Phoenix demanding a meeting to discuss its vaccine mandate, stating that Biden’s OSHA mandate is unconstitutional and pointing out various reasons why Mayo should reconsider its policy. Bolick said that she has received dozens of emails from Mayo employees about it, including remote workers who work from home.
“During the height of the pandemic in 2020, these same health care heroes worked tirelessly for Mayo to care for the sick knowing they were potentially putting their own health and family’s health at risk,” she wrote. “Yet, just a year later, Mayo appears ready to show them the door considering the Biden/Harris administration’s lawless vaccine mandate.”
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who was the first person in the country to sue the Biden administration over its COVID-19 vaccine mandates, is now co-leading another lawsuit with 11 other attorneys general over another aspect of the mandates. This new lawsuit challenges the mandate for private businesses with over 100 employees.
His first lawsuit, filed on September 14, primarily challenged the mandate’s applicability to federal employees and contractors. Brnovich and 23 other attorneys general next warned the Biden administration in a letter on September 16 that a new lawsuit was coming if the mandate wasn’t reversed. On October 22, Brnovich filed a request for an emergency temporary restraining order to stop the mandate from going into effect.
Employers and business organizations are voicing their opposition to the vaccine mandate announced last week by President Joe Biden.
Biden ordered the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to requite companies with more than 100 employees to make sure their workers are either vaccinated against COVID-19 or tested weekly for the virus. The mandates received a mixed reaction from companies and business groups, with some welcoming the new rules and others expressing their opposition.