The U.S. 5th District Court of Appeals ruled on Saturday to block and temporarily halt President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for businesses with 100 employees or more. Thus far 11 states have issued lawsuits this week.
At Least 26 states have come out against the administration’s vaccine mandate, and several coalitions of states filed four challenges to the OSHA’s rule.
The ruling came after state attorneys general sued the Biden administration over its mandate requiring employers with over 100 employees mandate vaccinations or undergo frequent testing. The court, which has jurisdiction over Texas, Louisiana and parts of Mississippi, blocked the mandate and gave the Biden administration until Monday to respond.
In their order, Judges Edith Jones, Stuart Kyle Duncan and Kurt Engelhardt wrote, “Because the petitions give cause to believe there are grave statutory and constitutional issues with the OSHA rule and the Mandate is hereby stayed pending further action by this court.”
OSHA’s rule was officially announced on Thursday and includes sending agents to inspect businesses to determine if they are abiding by the mandate. If a business is found to not be in compliance, a company could be fined $136.532. The announce immediately led to a flurry of lawsuits from Republican states and entities.
“It’s an unlawful mandate will cause injuries and hardship to working families, inflict economic disruption and staffing shortages on the States and private employers, and impose even greater strains on struggling labor markets and supply chains,” a filing from a coalition of attorneys general led by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt alleged.
Texas Attorneys General Ken Paxton celebrated the legal victory on Twitter Saturday, with Texas having Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Utah in their coalition to fight back against the mandate. Paxton tweeted, “Yesterday, I sued the Biden Administration over its unlawful OSHA vax mandate.”
“We won. Just this morning, citing grave statutory and constitutional issues, the 5th Circuit stayed the mandate. The fight is not over and I will never stop resisting this Administration’s unconstitutional overreach!” he added.
Earlier this week, The White House said it was confident that it could beat any Republican challenges to its new workplace mandate and claimed Thursday that the GOP was trying to block the Biden Administration from saving lives.