A US federal court has upheld the suspension of President Biden’s mandate requiring businesses employees to be vaccinated for Covid-19. The three-judge panel for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans affirmed its initial order from last week. The court order blocks Biden’s vaccine mandate from going into effect.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals said on Friday that the mandate “grossly exceeds” the Presidents authority.
If upheld, the suspension would represent another major setback to one of President Biden’s most far-reaching policies.
President Biden had set a January 4th deadline for companies with 100 employees or more to ensure all their staff was vaccinated. The rule the court criticized as “staggeringly overbroad.”
The court also said it granted the stay because the order was not likely to pass constitutional scrutiny.
Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt wrote; “The petitioners’ challenges to the Vaccine Mandate show a great likelihood of success on their merits, and this fact weighs critically in favor of a stay”.
Court cited potential “irreparable harm”
He also cited potential “irreparable harm” to employees and to the case’s petitioners, which include five US states; Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina, Utah, and Mississippi. Furthermore, several private companies and religious groups, if the stay was not granted.
“The Mandate threatens to substantially burden the liberty interests of reluctant individual recipients put to a choice between their job(s) and their jab(s),” Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt wrote.
“From economic uncertainty to workplace strife, the mere specter of the Mandate has contributed to untold economic upheaval in recent months,” he said.
The ruling requires the stay to remain in place until the challenger’s request for a permanent injunction can be reviewed. Vaccine mandates have a long history in the US but have generally been issued by cities or states.
As of mid-November, about 68 percent of the US population, and 81 percent of adults, had received at least one dose of a vaccine against Covid-19.
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