Court freezes Biden’s COVID-19 mandate

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FILE – In this Tuesday, July 9, 2019 file photo, People wait in line to enter the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to sit in overflow rooms to hear arguments in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

NEW ORLEANS, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has granted an Emergency Stay on the enforcement of President Biden’s federal vaccine mandate after Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry on Friday filed a lawsuit to stop the mandate.

The Biden Administration mandated all employees of businesses that employ 100 or more workers be vaccinated. They believe increasing the amount of the population vaccinated would be the quickest way to end the pandemic. More than 750,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the United States.

The Petition for Review of Occupational Safety and Health Administration Emergency Temporary Standard went before U.S. Fifth Circuit Judges Jones, Duncan, and Engelhardt, who issued the emergency order “pending expedited judicial review.”

Filed Friday by Louisiana Secretary of State Jeff Landry, the lawsuit claims the mandate exceeds the administration’s legal authority and conflicts with the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

27 states have filed lawsuits in several circuits to challenge the rule. However, the Biden administration asserts that safety rules take precedence over state laws and it will withstand any challenges brought against it in court. Violations include penalties of nearly $14,000.

The Court, however, did not publish today’s opinion, and the order addressed only the emergency order.

“Because the petitions give cause to believe there are grave statutory and constitutional issues with the Mandate, the Mandate has hereby STAYED pending further action by this court.”

The order requires the federal government to respond to the lawsuit by 5 p.m. Monday, and that Landry file any reply by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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