WASHINGTON — A federal court declined Friday to lift its stay on the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for businesses with 100 or more workers.
New Orleans’ 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted an Emergency Stay last Saturday to the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s requirement that all workers have been vaccinated by January 4.
Lawyers for the Justice and Labor departments filed a response Monday in which they said stopping the mandate from taking effect will only prolong the COVID-19 pandemic and would “cost dozens or even hundreds of lives per day.”
This argument was rejected by Friday’s appeals court. Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt wrote that the stay “is firmly in the public interest.”
“From economic uncertainty to workplace strife, the mere specter of the Mandate has contributed to untold economic upheaval in recent months,” Engelhardt wrote.
Since OSHA published its Nov. 4 rules, legal challenges have been filed by at least 27 state governments in at most six federal appellate courts. According to federal court filings on Monday, OSHA stated that cases should be combined and that any circuit court that has received a legal challenges should be randomly selected on Nov. 16 in order to hear them.
Lawyers for administration said that the vaccine mandate should not be put on hold, while the final court of the cases remains unknown.