NEW ORLEANS (AP) – A federal appeals court on Saturday temporarily suspended the Biden government’s vaccine needs for companies with 100 or more employees.
The U.S. 5th Court of Appeals granted an emergency postponement of the federal occupational health and safety agency’s requirement that these workers be vaccinated or require face masks and weekly tests by Jan. 4.
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said the action prevented Democratic President Joe Biden from “advancing with his unlawful superiority.”
“The president will not impose medical procedures on the American people without the controls and countermeasures required by the constitution,” said Republican Landry in a statement.
Employment attorney Seema Nanda said the US Department of Labor was “confident in its legal authority to issue the preliminary emergency standard for vaccinations and testing.”
OSHA has the authority to “act quickly in an emergency if the agency determines that workers are at great risk and a new standard is needed to protect them,” she said.
Such circuit decisions usually apply to states within a county – in this case, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas – but Landry said the language used by the judges gave the decision national scope.
“This is a great victory for the American people out there. Never before has the federal government tried so vigorously to get caught between the decisions of an American citizen and his doctor. For me, that’s the core of the whole issue, ”he said.
At least 27 states have filed lawsuits against the rule in multiple circles, some of which have been made more conservative in the judiciary by the appointments of former Republican President Donald Trump.
The Biden government has encouraged widespread vaccination as the fastest way to end the pandemic that has claimed more than 750,000 lives in the United States.
The government says it is confident the requirement, which includes fines of nearly $ 14,000 per violation, will withstand legal challenges, in part because its security regulations pre-empt state laws.
The New Orleans-based 5th Circuit said it was delaying federal vaccine requests due to potential “serious legal and constitutional issues” raised by plaintiffs. The government is due to provide an expedited response to the request for an injunction on Monday, followed by the petitioners’ response on Tuesday.
Lawrence Gostin, a public health expert at Georgetown University Law School, said it was worrying that a federal appeals court would stop or delay safety regulations in a health crisis. “
“Unelected judges who have no scientific experience should not question health and safety professionals at OSHA,” he said.
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