On November 12, the Fifth Circuit Federal court with a panel of 3 judges struck down the Biden Administrations vaccine mandate for private employers issued through a rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and issued a stay for the duration of appeals proceedings. This comes in the wake of x conservative states joining to sue the Biden administration over the rule citing a myriad of issues including its constitutionality.
The Biden Department of Justice (DOJ) has to appeal this ruling to the Supreme Court but in the meantime they have appealed the stay – which halts implementation in the immediate – to another federal appeals court.
How does that work? In this case where the jurisdiction crosses all 12 circuits, the selection of the court to hear the appeal is done by lottery. It looks exactly like a “Powerball” drawing where a member of a select judicial panel draws a ball from a bowl and the number on the ball indicates the circuit. The ball came up 6.
The 6th Circuit assignment is a major blow to the Biden agenda considering the court is made up of a balance of 20 conservative leaning judges and 8 and liberal leaning judges. With this balance, most believe the stay will be upheld, striking a major blow to the rule which the 5th circuit said was not made “in good faith” and was likely unconstitutional.
The Supreme Court will be the ultimate decider so the rule isn’t fully dead yet. But it’s certainly hanging by a thread. Meanwhile, many conservative Governors and legislatures are trying to pass state laws to protect their businesses and workers against the vaccine mandate on a state by state basis. See below on Governor DeSantis’s special legislative session for this issue: