The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a temporary order, stopping the Biden administration from enforcing its emergency OSHA mandate requiring businesses with more than 100 employees, to require their employees get a COVID-19 vaccination, or to submit to a testing and masking requirement. The mandate was to take effect on January 4. According to Judge Kurt Engelhardt writing for the court, “The mandate is staggeringly overbroad.” He stated that “The public interest is also served by maintaining our constitutional structure and maintaining the liberty of individuals to make intensely personal decisions according to their own convictions – even, or perhaps particularly, when those decisions frustrate government officials.”
The Court discusses the relationship between the federal government and the states under the commerce clause. The Court says, “First, the Mandate likely exceeds the federal government’s authority under the Commerce clause because it regulates noneconomic inactivity that falls squarely within the States’ police power. A person’s choice to remain unvaccinated and forgo regular testing is noneconomic inactivity.”
Iowa and 10 other states have also filed a suit opposing the mandate in the Eighth Circuit.
Several other cases have also been filed in other circuits. Because of the numerous suits filed, in different circuits, the federal courts, in an unusual move, by lottery, consolidated all the cases into a case in the 6th circuit. The case will undoubtedly finally be decided by the Supreme Court.
Iowa Appeals School Mask Mandate Decision
The State of Iowa has appealed to the Eighth Circuit, the federal district court’s decision enjoining enforcement of the law we passed prohibiting schools from implementing mandatory mask mandates. Hopefully we will have a decision before too long. The case could end up in the U. S. Supreme Court. The basis of the case is the claim by the plaintiffs that the law violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.