Florida calls for suspension of Biden administration’s federal vaccine mandate

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  • Florida joined other states on Monday in calling for a suspension of a federal vaccine mandate.

Florida, Georgia and Alabama on Monday asked a federal appeals court to suspend a Biden administration rule that would require tens of millions of workers nationwide to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

States and other rule opponents – including two Florida Christian schools – want the 11th U.S. Court of Appeals to stay proceedings to prevent the Biden administration from moving forward with vaccination requirements while a legal battle unfolds.

The 5th U.S. Court of Appeals, which hears cases from Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, issued such a stay on Saturday. But in Monday’s motion, attorneys for Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s called on the U.S. Atlanta Circuit’s 11th Court of Appeals to also issue a stay because “it’s unclear for how long the stay of the fifth circuit will be in place or when it decides. ”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis vows to challenge federal vaccine mandate

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis vows to challenge federal vaccine mandate

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The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration released the rule on Thursday. It would apply to employers with 100 or more workers. These workers should be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or test negative at least once a week – a measure that would cover 84 million workers nationwide, according to a White House estimate.

But in leading the 33-page motion to stay on Monday, attorneys for Moody’s office argued that OSHA had exceeded its legal authority with the rule, known as the “temporary emergency standard.” The rule is expected to come into effect on January 4.

“The ‘temporary emergency standard’ published by OSHA is neither a workplace standard nor a response to an emergency,” the motion said. “Rather, it is a back door attempt to dictate the personal health decisions of millions of ordinary Americans, many of whom have deeply personal reasons for refusing to be vaccinated.”

Lawyers for the federal government had not filed arguments Monday afternoon. But as the rule was released on Thursday, U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh released a statement stressing the need for vaccination requirements as the pandemic continues.

“COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on workers, and we continue to see dangerous levels of cases,” Walsh said in the statement. “We must take action to implement this temporary emergency standard to contain the virus and protect people in the workplace from the grave danger of COVID-19. Many companies understand the benefits of having their employees vaccinated against COVID-19, and we expect many to be excited to see this OSHA rule take effect. ”

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis “wants people to be able to make their own decisions” about the capture or spread of COVID-19

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Florida and other opponents filed an initial motion on Friday and followed up on a stay motion on Monday. Appeals to OSHA decisions can be filed in federal appellate courts, rather than the usual process of filing cases in district courts.

In addition to claiming the rule is beyond the authority of OSHA, Florida and other opponents claim it conflicts with the First Amendment and a law known as the Restoration of Religious Freedom Act. .

Besides the states, other parties challenging the rule are two companies, two Georgian business groups, Cambridge Christian School in Tampa and King’s Academy Christian School in West Palm Beach.

Leaders from both schools filed court documents saying they each have more than 100 employees and, therefore, would be subject to vaccination requirements.

Shawn Minks, principal of Cambridge Christian School, said in a document that there is “no doubt that COVID-19 vaccines will help us protect ourselves and the most vulnerable from this pandemic. And we thank God for this development.

“However, at the same time, as faithful Christians, we also believe that people – in good conscience – may draw different conclusions about whether to receive the vaccines,” Minks said in the document. “The Bible teaches us that we are to follow our conscience and that we are to respect the conscience of others within the limits of what the Bible allows and prohibits (1 Corinthians 10: 28-30). It is our sincere religious belief that the conscience of a faithful Christian can cause them to refrain from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. ”

Governor Ron DeSantis has raised a high-profile issue of pushing back the Biden administration on COVID-19 requirements. He has called a special legislative session next week that will focus on taking action to prevent vaccines and hide warrants.

Monday’s motion alleged that OSHA issued the rule due to “political pressure” from President Joe Biden, who first announced the plan in September.

“Here, the real reason OSHA acted is clear – the president demanded it,” the motion said.


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