The Alabama Center for Law and Liberty (ACLL) filed a lawsuit Monday challenging the Occupational Health and Safety Administration's vaccine mandate on behalf of FabArc Steel Supply, Inc., an Alabama construction company and its President, Tony Pugh.
On September 9, 2021, President Joe Biden addressed unvaccinated Americans and warned them that his “patience [was] wearing thin.” Consequently, Biden announced that OSHA would be issuing an emergency temporary standard (ETS) forcing companies with 100 employees or more to vaccinate their employees.
OSHA released the text of its order on Nov. 4. FabArc employs more than 100 people, which subjects it to the OSHA ruling.
FabArc and Pugh aligned with the ACLL and filed a petition for review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, challenging the OSHA ETS. Pugh decided to fight back.
On Saturday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals granted an "emergency motion" and entered a preliminary stay barring enforcement of the ETS, contending the order raises "grave statutory and constitutional issues."
The Court ordered both parties to submit further briefs on Nov. 8 and 9, respectively. The stay order is not a final ruling, but will halt its implementation temporarily.
"In its entire history, OSHA has issued only nine other emergency temporary standards,” said Matt Clark, President of ACLL. “Of those, six have been challenged in court, and the courts have struck down five. This will be number six.”
According to the ACLL, Pugh, who has a majority of the shareholders’ votes, is a Christian who has religious convictions against forcing people to take vaccines that were produced in connection with aborted fetal cell lines.
“This suit is about more than just fighting a bad emergency rule," Clark said. "It’s about federalism, free markets, religious liberty, and the individual freedom to control one’s own healthcare decisions. This ETS is the most sweeping that OSHA has ever issued, but it has given us a chance to fight for first principles. We are grateful for our clients’ stand, and we look forward to representing them in this suit.”
ACLL is a conservative nonprofit legal organization based in Birmingham and it is the litigation arm of the Alabama Policy Institute. For more information, visit ACLL’s website at alabamalawandliberty.org.
Petition for Review is available here.