The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration to "take no steps to implement or enforce the Mandate until further court order." The decision was the latest development in what is expected to be a lengthy legal battle over the mandate’s legality.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a vocal critic of the workplace vaccine mandate, lauded the court’s decision on Twitter.
"Citing Texas's "compelling argument[s]," the 5th Circuit has delayed OSHA's unconstitutional and illegal private-business vaccine mandate. WE WON! Litigation will continue, but this is a massive victory for Texas and for FREEDOM from Biden's tyranny and lawlessness," Paxton wrote.
At Biden’s direction, the OSHA issued a rule earlier this month requiring U.S. employers with 100 or more workers to ensure their workers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergoing weekly tests for the virus by Jan 4. Businesses that don’t comply face thousands of dollars in fines.
The rule prompted a slate of legal challenges from at least 27 states as well as business and religious groups who argue the mandate is unconstitutional. Biden and other federal officials argue the mandate is necessary to end the COVID-19 pandemic and fully reopen the economy.
The Fifth Circuit granted a temporary stay on enforcement of the federal mandate on Nov. 6, one day after the rule was announced. In its reaffirmation Friday, the court said the mandate "exposes [petitioners] to severe financial risk" and "threatens to decimate their workforces (and business prospects)."