Appeals Court Restores Biden’s Vaccine-Or-Test Mandate For Large Employers

Appeals Court Restores Biden’s Vaccine-Or-Test Mandate For Large Employers

A federal appeals court allowed the Biden Administration’s Covid-19 vaccine-or-test rule for private employers to take effect Friday evening, reversing an earlier ruling blocking it, in a win for the federal government amid multiple legal challenges to its vaccine mandates.

Then-President-elect Joe Biden receives a Covid-19 vaccine on December 21, 2020 in Newark, Delaware.

Key Facts

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 to dissolve a different appellate court’s ruling that stopped the Occupational Health and Safety Administration from requiring all employers with 100 or more workers to ensure that their employees are vaccinated against Covid-19 or take frequent tests.

The 6th Circuit’s two-judge majority — appointees of former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush — argued that Congress gave OSHA broad power to issue emergency workplace rules to protect people from severe dangers like infectious diseases.

The dissenting judge — appointed by former President Donald Trump — said OSHA overreached its legal authority and didn’t demonstrate why a sweeping nationwide vaccine-or-test rule that applies to tens of millions of Americans is necessary.


OSHA’s rule was originally set to take effect early next month, but it has been on hold since early November, when the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily blocked it.

Crucial Quote

“The record establishes that COVID-19 has continued to spread, mutate, kill, and block the safe return of American workers to their jobs,” the 6th Circuit’s majority opinion read. “To protect workers, OSHA can and must be able to respond to dangers as they evolve.”

Key Background

President Joe Biden first announced OSHA’s vaccine-or-test mandate in September. His administration has also pushed to mandate Covid-19 vaccinations for federal employees and contractors, military personnel and healthcare workers at Medicare- and Medicaid-funded facilities, part of a bid to boost plateauing nationwide vaccination rates and stave off workplace outbreaks. This strategy has faced resistance and lawsuits from Republican politicians and some employers. A federal judge blocked the vaccine mandate for federal contractors in all 50 states last week. The healthcare worker vaccine mandate was also put on hold nationwide last month, though an appeals court allowed it to take effect in 26 states on Wednesday, and the Biden Administration has asked the Supreme Court to fully restore the rule.

What To Watch For

Legal challenges over federal vaccine mandates could reach the Supreme Court. The court has upheld several vaccine mandates from schools, private employers and local and state governments, but it hasn’t weighed in on Biden’s vaccination orders yet.

Big Number

58%. That’s the percentage of employed U.S. adults who supported OSHA’s vaccine-or-test mandate last month, according to an Axios/Ipsos poll.

This content was originally published here.


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