After a federal appeals court said the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate was “fatally flawed” and that it raised “serious constitutional concerns,” the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration suspended the mandate’s implementation and enforcement.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reaffirmed its decision to press pause on the implementation of the requirements last week, with a three-judge panel making clear a lawsuit overturning Biden’s COVID-19 mandates are “likely to succeed” on the mandates, OutKick previously reported.
“The court ordered that OSHA ‘take no steps to implement or enforce‘ the [Emergency Temporary Standard] ‘until further court order,'” the Department of Labor said in a news release. “While OSHA remains confident in its authority to protect workers in emergencies, OSHA has suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of the ETS pending future developments in the litigation.”
OSHA announced the new ETS on Nov. 4 and said the nation’s unvaccinated workers face “grave danger from workplace exposure” to COVID-19 and that immediate action was necessary to protect them.
In the opinion filed Friday, the Justices wrote that the courts have uniformly observed that OSHA has the authority to establish emergency temporary standards under “extraordinary power” that is to be “delicately exercised” in only certain “limited situations.”
The Justices wrote that any argument OSHA may make that COVID-19 is a “new hazard” would directly contradict OSHA’s prior representation to the D.C. Circuit that “[t]here can be no dispute that COVID-19 is a recognized hazard.”
The court ordered that OSHA “take no steps to implement or enforce” the ETS “until further court order.” The Justices said that halting — or staying — the mandate will do OSHA no harm whatsoever, while it will greatly benefit the public.
More information about the suspension of the emergency temporary standard and the U.S. Department of Labor’s COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing ETS can be seen here. The opinion published by the U.S. Court of Appeals can be seen here, and OutKick’s previous coverage on the topic can be seen here.
Check back with OutKick for updates.
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