A federal appeals court affirmed its decision to put on hold President Joe Biden’s order requiring COVID-19 immunizations for businesses with 100 or more employees on Friday, dismissing his administration’s case.
Despite the Biden administration’s claim that suspending implementation of the vaccine mandate could result in dozens or perhaps hundreds of deaths, a three-member panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans upheld its decision.
“The mandate is staggeringly overbroad,” the opinion said, according to a report on the ruling by Reuters.
“The mandate is a one-size-fits-all sledgehammer that makes hardly any attempt to account for differences in workplaces (and workers),” Circuit Court Judge Kurt Engelhardt wrote for the panel.
Vaccine mandates have been extremely controversial in the United States. Supporters say they are necessary to end to the nearly two-year COVID-19 pandemic, while opponents argue they violate the U.S. Constitution and seize individual liberty and freedom.
The Fifth Circuit judges agreed with the petitioners.
“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,” Engelhardt wrote as reported by Reuters.
The rule was issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), under the direction of President Biden, and mandates that businesses with at least 100 employees require staff to get vaccinated or face weekly tests and face mask requirements.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton praised the decision as a triumph, while White House officials had no immediate comment. Texas joined other states in filing legal challenges to the directive, as well as private employers and religious organizations.
“Citing Texas’s “compelling argument[s],” 5th Circuit has stayed OSHA’s unconstitutional & illegal private-business vaccine mandate. WE WON! Litigation will continue, but this is a massive victory for Texas & FREEDOM from Biden’s tyranny & lawlessness”, Paxton said on Twitter.
Biden issued the mandate in September, telling Americans that “our patience is wearing thin” with those refusing to get the shot while framing the on going health crisis as a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.”
A copy of the ruling can be found here.