On Monday, Nov. 8 White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told a room full of reporters that “people should not wait,” to enforce the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate despite the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Court issuing a temporary stay, blocking the mandate while a permanent injunction is considered.
“They should continue to move forward and make sure they’re getting their workplace vaccinated,” Jean-Pierre said when asked about the court’s decision.
On Saturday, Nov. 6 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit halted the enforcement of Biden’s mandate stating that petitions received “give cause to believe there are grave statutory and constitutional issues with the Mandate.”
Republican attorneys general from Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Utah in addition to several private companies petitioned the courts and asked for a pause arguing that the requirements of the mandate “exceed the authority of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which will enforce the mandates, and amount to an unconstitutional delegation of power to the executive branch by Congress,” CNBC reported.
The White House believes that pausing the mandate “would likely cost dozens or even hundreds of lives per day” and further argued that the OSHA is acting within its authority established by Congress.
In September, President Biden signed an executive order mandating all companies with 100 or more employees have their staff vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. Companies have until Jan. 4 to ensure staff are fully vaccinated or unvaccinated staff must submit negative COVID-19 tests on a weekly basis.
At least 26 states have issued challenges to Biden’s mandate and testing requirements in five different U.S. appeals courts since Nov. 5. The Republican National Committee has also issued a challenge in the D.C. Court of Appeals.
Seema Nanda, the Labor Department’s senior lawyer, said on Friday that the Biden administration is “fully prepared to defend this standard in court.”
Nanda argued that the vaccine and testing requirements, mandated by Biden’s executive order, take precedence over “any state or local requirements that ban or limit an employer’s authority to require vaccination, face-covering, or testing.”
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has dictated “that all future cases, appeals, motions and petitions on the issue in that jurisdiction shall be assigned to the same three-judge panel,” Breitbart reported.
One of the judges, Edith Jones, was appointed by President Ronald Regan and the remaining two were appointed by President Donald Trump.
The case is BST Holdings v. OSHA, No. 21-60845 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.