NEW ORLEANS, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has granted an Emergency Stay on the enforcement of President Joe Biden’s federal vaccine mandate after Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry filed a lawsuit Friday 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.”
Landry’s 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.
“Because the petitions give cause to believe there are grave statutory and constitutional issues with the Mandate, the Mandate is hereby STAYED pending further action by this court.”
Nearly 30 states, including Florida, have filed lawsuits 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.
“In the history of our nation, this is unprecedented, breathtaking, and authoritarian,” Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said. “We must take this action to protect Florida, its businesses, our workers from the heavy-handed, short-sighted, and unlawful edicts that are emanating from President Biden and his handlers.”
The Court, however, did not publish today’s opinion, and the order addressed only the emergency order.
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.