Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine rules for big businesses temporarily blocked by federal appeals court

Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine rules for big businesses temporarily blocked by federal appeals court

Isabel Webb Carey
Isabel Webb Carey
|
November 8, 2021

A federal appeals court blocked President Biden’s executive order issued Thursday that mandated all companies with more than 100 workers require vaccination or weekly testing.

Last week, Biden used an executive order to push two-thirds of American workers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, reaching into the private sector to mandate that all companies with more than 100 workers require vaccination or weekly testing. In his remarks, he promised to “protect vaccinated workers from the unvaccinated.” The action is the most aggressive measure to control the pandemic that has now taken the lives of over 750,000 Americans. It would take effect from Jan. 4.

“We’ve been patient,” Mr. Biden said in a message to the unvaccinated. “But our patience is wearing thin. And your refusal has cost all of us.”

The safety measures could, in some cases, preempt state and local laws, including Gov. Greg Abbott’s ban on vaccine mandates. Texas joined a handful of other states, as well as businesses and advocacy groups in a joint petition which argued government overreach. In response, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit temporarily blocked federal mandate and cited “grave statutory and constitutional issues” with the federal COVID-19 vaccine rule developed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. 

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“The quick turnaround by the Fifth Circuit to stay the mandate signifies the deep and obvious constitutional problems with the federal government’s private employer vaccine mandate,” Robert Henneke, general counsel for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, which was involved in the filing of the petition, said in a statement. “That should send a message to the White House the mandate is not only ill-conceived but unconstitutional.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton took to Twitter to celebrate the outcome. “WE WON,” tweeted Paxton following the court’s ruling. “The fight is not over and I will never stop resisting this Admin’s unconstitutional overreach!”

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Isabel Webb Carey

Isabel Webb Carey

Isabel Webb Carey attends the University of Texas at Austin in the Plan II Honors Program with a certificate in Core Texts and Ideas. Her interests include education, local governance, sustainability, and equity. Isabel enjoys dancing, hiking, and live music. She is also a staff writer for the Texas Orator. Email her at [email protected]
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