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Challengers ask U.S. Supreme Court to block Biden vaccine mandate for businesses -Breaking

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© Reuters. U.S. president Joe Biden gazes on while he visits a neighborhood in Mayfield Kentucky. December 15, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON (Reuters] – Religious groups, businesses and 27 states have urged Congress to stop the Biden Administration’s COVID-19 nationwide mandate for vaccine testing in large companies. The mandate, which affects approximately 80 million American workers, was passed by the Biden administration.

The various challengers filed court papers over the weekend asking the conservative-majority court to put on hold a decision by an appeals court on Friday to allow the mandate to take effect.

On Monday, the Supreme Court asked Biden’s administration to respond to the challengers before Dec. 30, Although the Supreme Court has not yet acted, it did ask the Biden administration to file papers in response to the challengers by December 30.

This dispute is brought to the attention of the Supreme Court by the “tidal wave”, which will see a slew of Omicron-related cases filed in the United States.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals of Cincinnati lifted a November blockade that blocked the rule of OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) to Cincinnati. It applies only to companies with less than 100 employees.

Joe Biden, the Democratic president of the United States, announced regulations in September to raise the rates for adults who have been vaccinated. This is to counter the epidemic that has already claimed more than 89,000 lives and negatively impacted the economy.

Original rule set Jan. 4, as the deadline to comply. OSHA stated that it will not issue any citations for the order prior to Jan. 10, and won’t take action for noncompliance with testing requirements before February 9.

27 predominantly Republican-led states are among the challengers, as well as various businesses and groups. There are also two types of religious entities. One is the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, located in Louisville, Kentucky. The National Federation of Independent Business (a trade association that represents small businesses) is one of the business challengers.

The OSHA challengers claim, among others, that OSHA exceeded its authority when it used a process which allows it to issue an emergency measure to fix specific workplace safety risks under the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act. These challengers claim Congress didn’t intend that the law could be used for this broad regulation.

According to the filing by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, “This case concerns a historic unprecedented administrative command.”

He said that the dispute does not revolve around whether mandates for vaccines are “wise” or “desirable”. It is about “the very narrow questions of whether OSHA was authorized to issue the mandate and whether OSHA lawfully exercised any authority it did have.”

Biden has had the vaccine requirements for health workers in healthcare facilities in only half of the 50 US states blocked by different courts. It is now before the Supreme Court that the administration requests for the mandate to be made nationwide.

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