The Biden administration has responded to an order issued by the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals placing a hold on the vaccine mandate for private employers of 100 or more workers by telling American companies to implement the mandate anyway.
Deputy White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told media members on Monday that employers should “continue to move forward” with making sure that they are “getting their workplaces vaccinated.”
On Saturday, three judges from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Biden mandate for private employers must be put on hold because of apparent concerns about its constitutionality that arose from the papers filed in the case. The order came in a case brought by states, including Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina, Utah, and Mississippi.
The court specifically found that the “grave statutory and constitutional issues” surrounding the mandate “stayed pending further action by the court.” The court gave the federal government and the plaintiffs through Tuesday to file additional arguments with the court.
In the response filed with the court on Monday, the administration asked the court to remove the order placing a stay on the mandate. The government dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims that the mandate is being harmed as “premature” since the final deadlines for compliance are not until January. Even though the mandate will not become effective until then according to its terms, the administration claimed that leaving the restraining order in place will “likely cost dozens or even hundreds of lives” each day.
Labor Department attorney Seema Nanda said that the administration would fight against the court order. She maintained that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has legal authority to “act quickly in an emergency” that presents a “grave danger” to workers.
Georgetown University law professor David Vladeck told reporters that the case is highly likely to end before the Supreme Court. He said there are some justices on the court who are motivated to “rein in the administrative state,” and the mandate case brings administrative overreach issues “to the fore.”