Biden Vaccine Mandate: Sixth Circuit Upholds

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the authorization of the coronavirus vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11 at the White House in Washington, D.C., November 3, 2021. (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Biden administration’s employer vaccine mandate on Friday.

By overturning the 5th Circuit Court’s stay of Biden’s order, the higher court allowed the mandate to go back into effect, but future litigation by the plaintiffs is pending.

In the 2-1 ruling, Julia Gibbons, an appointee of former president Bush, concurred with the opinion of Jane Stranch, an appointee of former president Obama. The outlier judge who dissented was Joan Larsen, an appointee of former president Trump.

“The harm to the Government and the public interest outweighs any irreparable injury to the individual Petitioners who may be subject to a vaccination policy, particularly here where Petitioners have not shown a likelihood of success on the merits,” Stranch wrote in the opinion.

“Reasonable minds may disagree on OSHA’s approach to the pandemic, but we do not substitute our judgment for that of OSHA, which has been tasked by Congress with policymaking responsibilities,” Gibbons wrote in the concurring opinion.

Alfredo Ortiz, the president and CEO of the Job Creators Network, which launched the initial lawsuit against the Biden administration, expressed disappointment with the decision and said it plans to appeal it with the Supreme Court.

“The 6th Circuit irresponsibly upheld an illegal rule and expects employers to somehow comply with a complicated regulation in a period of two weeks, including the holidays. JCN has immediately asked the Supreme Court to save businesses and employees from this government overreach,” Ortiz said in a statement.

He stressed that expecting private companies to enforce the vaccine requirement imposes intense strain on an already struggling sector of the economy.

“This mandate adds an incredible burden on small business owners who are still suffering negative effects of the pandemic. This mandate will make it even harder for small business owners to find and keep employees,” he added.

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[By: Caroline Downey

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