A U.S. appeals court on Friday ruled to maintain its hold on Biden’s vaccine mandate, which would require companies with over 100 employees to force COVID-19 vaccinations or succumb to weekly testing and mask-wearing.
A panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans affirmed its ruling, determining that the private businesses challenging the mandate were likely to win their case.
In its decision, the court noted that an obscure provision of the 1970 Occupational Safety and Health Act, authorizing the agency to issue an “Emergency Temporary Standard” violates the 1950 Administrative Procedures Act, which says that all rule-making procedures of federal government agencies and departments must go through a lengthy public comment procedure before their issuance, the Tennessee Star reports.
Indeed, the Emergency Temporary Standard has only been invoked ten times in 50 years. Six of them were challenged in court and only one survived.
"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.
"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," he added.