FederalJudicialTexas Challenges Biden Administration’s Business Vaccine Mandates in Court

Legal challenges are mounting in court against the Biden administration’s requirement for private businesses to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine.
November 5, 2021
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Shortly after the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a new requirement for businesses with 100 or more employees to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations or regular testing and face coverings by January 4, 2022, Texas filed a petition in a federal court in an attempt to stop the measure.

“The Biden Administration’s new vaccine mandate on private businesses is a breathtaking abuse of federal power,” said Attorney General Ken Paxton in a press release.

Paxton said that the DOL’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which will be enforcing the rule, “has only limited power and specific responsibilities.”

“This latest move goes way outside those bounds,” said Paxton. “This ‘standard’ is flatly unconstitutional. Bottom line: Biden’s new mandate is bad policy and bad law, and I’m asking the Court to strike it down.”

Paxton has also filed a lawsuit in federal court against one of the Biden administration’s other COVID-19 vaccine mandates, which is geared toward federal contractors.

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The petition for review was filed directly in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and four other states joined Texas’ lead in the petition: Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Utah.

At least three other similar petitions have been filed by state coalitions led by Missouri, Florida, and Kentucky.

The regulation is also facing pushback from private entities, which have joined or filed their own separate suits.

Several companies such as HT Staffing, Ltd. and Gulf Coast Restaurant Group joined the Texas-led petition.

The Plano-based First Liberty Institute has filed a separate petition in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of several religious ministries, and the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) is also taking legal action against the Biden administration on the matter alongside America First Legal.

“Our clients believe that the decision to be vaccinated should be made by individuals and their doctors — not the federal government,” said Robert Henneke, general counsel for TPPF, in a press release.  “In addition to turning private employers into federal vaccine enforcers, the rule will also result in many individuals leaving the workforce entirely, accelerating a trend that has devastated our economic recovery from the pandemic.”

In addition to the new court challenges today, several lawmakers have begun urging Gov. Greg Abbott to call a special session so that they can confront the issue from a legislative perspective.

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Daniel Friend

Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.