Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
NEW ORLEANS — A federal appeals court on Saturday temporarily halted the Biden administration's vaccine requirement for businesses with 100 or more workers, as a response to a lawsuit filed by five states, including Utah, and private parties.
"Citizens of Utah can take courage that their elected leaders have confronted this unprecedented expansion of presidential power with a united front and that the courts are paying attention," said Utah Attorney General Reyes.
Reyes said that this ruling is an important victory, but he looks forward to more argument and litigation, as well as legislative action, on this issue as he works to protect constitutional liberties.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted an emergency stay of the requirement by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration that those workers be vaccinated by Jan. 4 or face mask requirements and weekly tests.
Louisiana Attorney General Landry said the action stops President Joe Biden "from moving forward with his unlawful overreach."
"The president will not impose medical procedures on the American people without the checks and balances afforded by the constitution," Landry said in a statement.
At least 27 states filed lawsuits challenging the rule in several circuits, some of which were made more conservative by the judicial appointments of former Republican President Donald Trump.
The Biden administration has been encouraging widespread vaccinations as the quickest way to end the pandemic that has claimed more than 750,000 lives in the United States.
The administration says it is confident that the requirement, which includes penalties of nearly $14,000 per violation, will withstand legal challenges in part because its safety rules pre-empt state laws.
The 5th Circuit, based in New Orleans, said it was delaying the federal vaccine requirement because of potential "grave statutory and constitutional issues" raised by the plaintiffs. The government must provide an expedited reply to the motion for a permanent injunction Monday, followed by petitioners' reply on Tuesday.