Following a scathing opinion by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit striking down the OSHA COVID-19 mandate nationwide in BST Holdings, LLC v. OSHA, all OSHA-related COVID-19 litigation was assigned to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit by the Judicial Conference of the United States.
Going forward, all cases challenging the OSHA COVID-19 mandatory vaccination "interim final rule" will be heard by the Ohio-based Sixth US Circuit Court of Appeals. The OSHA-related litigation was referred to that court by random selection.
The Fifth Circuit court ruled that OSHA's claim of an ongoing emergency was baseless and that its vaccine mandate was "unlawful" and an "administrative overreach" that usurped Congress's authority.
Meanwhile, CMS - the federal agency that administers the Medicare and Medicaid programs - issued a similar vaccine mandate as a condition of program participation. The CMS dictates is also an "interim final rule" that bears many similar features to the unlawful OSHA rule. Many people continue to argue against these mandates because they are non-consensual and because they infringe on workers' religious liberties and personal freedom of choice.
The Ohio court that will settle this dispute was chosen on Nov. 16, 2021. It has been noted that the state's Sixth Circuit Court has twice as many conservative judges as progressive ones. A three-judge panel drawn from this court will hear the first case. As of this writing, the judges had not yet been selected.
What is the COVID-19 vaccine mandate?
The COVID-19 vaccine mandate purported to require all employers with more than 100 employees to force employees to get vaccinated unless the employee had a medical or religious exemption. OSHA unveiled the measure on Nov. 4, 2021 — two months after the president directed a nationwide mandate. The Fifth Circuit rejected OSHA's claims that it had the authority to issue such an order. The court also rejected OSHA's argument that the order was justified as is an "emergency temporary standard" to protect employee health and safety from "grave danger."
Besides the case ruled on by the Fifth Circuit, shortly after the regulations were announced, 34 objections were filed in 12 different courts of appeals across the country.
Challenges to the mandate received support earlier this month when the Fifth Circuit Court ruled that the requirements are "staggeringly" overbroad.
Protect your rights and freedoms
Whatever the outcome, the Sixth Circuit Court's decision will affect millions of Americans. The unusual administrative regulation has generated much debate and numerous legal challenges. Will people's right to make decisions about their own bodies prevail?
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