Reacting swiftly to the highly controversial rulemaking proposal from OSHA, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Saturday blocked the Biden administration’s private employer COVID-19 vaccine mandate, pointing out: “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.” The private and state petitioners said the mandate, promulgated as an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), should be struck down because:
(1) It exceeds OSHA’s authority under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
(2) OHSA’s authority is limited to workplace-related hazards while the risk from COVID-19 is “a society-wide danger.”
(3) The mandate doesn’t make sense because determining whether COVID-19 is a workplace hazard depends on employees’ age and health, not the number of co-workers that exist at a given establishment or business place.
(4) The OSHA/Presidential mandate is being applied without approval from Congress.
(5) While couched as an emergency workplace rule affecting nearly 100 million Americans -- the ETS is neither a workplace rule nor responsive to an emergency; and
(6) Vaccination status is a public health issue -- which is neither a hazard particular to the workplace, nor an emergency after being present for nearly two years.
In short, the petitioner were successful in obtaining the STAY, by pointing out -- Congress did not grant OSHA such sweeping powers in its authorizing statute, and it is doubtful the President or the FEDERAL Government has such powers either.