By Brandon Moseley
Friday the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a lower court ruling that had blocked President Joe Biden’s mandate requiring all businesses with over one hundred employees to require all employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine or undergo frequent COVID-19 testing.
Matt Clark is the Executive Director of the Alabama Center for Law and Liberty (ACLL). Clark told 1819 News that the ACLL is preparing to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Since the Sixth Circuit released its opinion last night, at least five petitions have been filed with the U.S. Supreme Court to stay the OSHA mandate,” Clark said. “The Alabama Center for Law and Liberty intends to join them. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court struck down the CDC's eviction mandate, which was less sweeping than the OSHA mandate. Therefore, we believe that the Supreme Court will stay the OSHA mandate as well.”
The President’s orders were turned into a workplace regulation by the OSHA in an emergency regulation. Employers who refused to obey would be subject to crippling fines and penalties enforced by OSHA. That regulation was blocked by a federal court after Alabama and other states filed suit claiming that the administration had exceeded its Constitutional authority.
The Biden administration's vaccine-or-test mandate for businesses with at least 100 employees impacts tens of millions of workers across the country.
The Biden administration asked the Cincinnati-based court late in November to reinstate its workplace vaccine mandate that was blocked by a court order.
The Court wrote in its ruling that, “It is not appropriate to second-guess that agency determination considering the substantial evidence, including many peer-reviewed scientific studies, on which it relied. Indeed, OSHA need not demonstrate scientific certainty.”
The court said that it would be dissolving a stay issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.
“OSHA has demonstrated the pervasive danger that COVID-19 poses to workers—unvaccinated workers in particular—in their workplaces,” the Court said.
Civil libertarians argue that the government cannot compel citizens to get a medical treatment or vaccine against their will. Supporters of the mandate argue that the needs of society outweigh the rights of the individual. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in Jacobsen versus Massachusetts that the state can require citizens to be vaccinated.
The ruling comes amid growing concerns about the emergence of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19, which was confirmed in Alabama last Wednesday.
Dr. Anthony Fauci has served as Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984. Fauci is urging everyone who is not already vaccinated for COVID-19 to get vaccinated.
“We are going to see a significant stress in some regions of the country on the hospital system, particularly in those areas where you have a low level of vaccination, which is one of the reasons why we continue to stress the importance of getting those unvaccinated people vaccinated," Fauci told CNN host Jake Tapper. “This virus is extraordinary. It has a doubling time of anywhere between two and three days.”
"We are going to be in for some serious difficulties right now and we better be doing more to mitigate against that,” Fauci said. “And it’s never too late to get vaccinated. And if you’re vaccinated, go get boosted and be prudent in everything else you do.”
(Original reporting by CNN and The Hill contributed to this report.)
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email brandon.moseley@1819News.com.