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LANSING, November 11, 2021 ~ Wednesday, Republican leaders in the Michigan Senate and House filed a court brief supporting nationwide efforts to block implementation of the Biden Administration’s emergency COVID-19 vaccine mandate, which requires employers with 100 or more workers to enforce vaccination, or regular testing and masking.
The brief was filed less than a week following the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announcement of the emergency mandate’s details. The mandate will affect 2.6 million employees in Michigan across both public and private sectors.
The US Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit halted the requirements Saturday, stating that “the petitions give cause to believe there are grave statutory and constitutional issues with the Mandate.”
However, the Biden Administration is fighting the move, and the White House stated Monday that businesses should move forward with the requirements despite the court action.
“People should not wait,” said White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre during a briefing. “They should continue to move forward and make sure they’re getting their workplace vaccinated.”
Attorneys across more than 25 states have challenged the vaccine and testing requirements in five different appeals courts since Friday. The Republican National Committee has also challenged the move in the DC Court of Appeals.
When multiple petitions are filed in at least two courts, the cases are consolidated in one court through a lottery. Monday, the US Department of Justice said the lottery is expected to take place on or around November 16. In response, the Biden Administration said the courts should not rule until the jurisdiction for the case has been selected.
November 11, 2021 ~ The Detroit News Craig Mauger talks with Kevin Dietz about the Michigan Senate filing a brief opposing COVID-19 OSHA rules.
“I think the Supreme Court is going to be the entity that decides what happens with this,” said The Detroit News Reporter Craig Mauger to 760 WJR’s Kevin Dietz. “We know where the Supreme Court stands right now, it has a Conservative majority. We also know that the Biden Administration — according to the national reporting — is telling businesses and telling groups that they need to proceed with implementing this, because they believe it is going to be upheld.”
Prior to the vaccine requirements, OSHA had only issued ten emergency workplace safety standards since the agency was formed in 1970. Four of those implementations were stopped by congress, and a fifth was partially vacated.
Unless the mandate is stopped, workplace mask requirements will begin December 5, and vaccine requirements start January 4.