Christian ministries ask Supreme Court to block Biden OSHA vaccine mandate
The mandate would apply to religious employers, as well
Three Christian ministries have asked the Supreme Court to block the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine mandate, which requires all companies with 100 employees or more to force workers to get vaccinated or take regular testing for coronavirus. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the mandate in early November but the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the stay on Friday.
"The Sixth Circuit panel’s decision to end the stay is outrageous and endangers the freedom of all Americans," Kelly Shackelford, president, CEO, and chief counsel at First Liberty Institute, said in a statement on the filing. First Liberty is representing the ministries.
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"Few are aware that, in addition to the President’s OSHA mandate being clearly lawless, its takeover of American companies also includes all religious organizations of over 100 employees," Shackelford added. "Our clients simply cannot comply with a government mandate that forces them to violate the conscience rights of their employees. The Supreme Court must act, or there will be a Constitutional crisis."
First Liberty represents three religious employers: the American Family Association, Answers in Genesis, and the Daystar Television Network. First Liberty filed the petition on their behalf on Saturday night.
"The organizations believe the Bible is the inspired, infallible, and authoritative Word of God," the petition reads. "The Bible teaches that the right of conscience is sacred and must remain inviolate. Any mandate that forces the organizations to compel their employees to be vaccinated against their will is one that would require it to violate their employees’ sacred rights of belief and conscience."
The Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) would implement the mandate. On Saturday, a Labor Department spokesperson told Fox News that the department was "gratified" by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals' decision to lift the blockade.
"OSHA can now once again implement this vital workplace health standard, which will protect the health of workers by mitigating the spread of the unprecedented virus in the workplace," the spokesperson said. "To provide employers with sufficient time to come into compliance, OSHA will not issue citations for noncompliance with any requirements of the ETS before January 10."
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Earlier this week, the Court refused to block a New York regulation mandating COVID-19 vaccines for health care workers.