NEW ORLEANS, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has granted an Emergency Stay on the enforcement of President Biden’s federal vaccine mandate after Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry on Friday filed a lawsuit to stop the mandate.
On Saturday, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster responded to the news on twitter, saying “South Carolina’s businesses should stand down in enforcing the mandate, pending the outcome of legal challenges.”
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson added, “The Court has seen the merit of our filings and others’. The Constitution will prevail. The President is not above the law. The courts may be all that is left between us and abuse of power.”
The Biden Administration’s mandate required businesses with 100 employees or more to have all workers vaccinated. The Administration believes increasing the amount of the people vaccinated is the quickest way to end the pandemic. More than 750,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the United States.
The Petition for Review of Occupational Safety and Health Administration Emergency Temporary Standard went before U.S. Fifth Circuit Judges Jones, Duncan, and Engelhardt, who issued the emergency order “pending expedited judicial review.”
Filed Friday by Louisiana Secretary of State Jeff Landry, the lawsuit claims the mandate exceeds the administration’s legal authority and conflicts with the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
“Because the petitions give cause to believe there are grave statutory and constitutional issues with the Mandate, the Mandate is hereby STAYED pending further action by this court.”
27 states have filed lawsuits in several circuits to challenge the rule. However, the Biden administration asserts that safety rules take precedence over state laws and it will withstand any challenges brought against it in court. Violations include penalties of nearly $14,000.
The Court, however, did not publish today’s opinion, and the order addressed only the emergency order.
The order requires the federal government to respond to the lawsuit by 5 p.m. Monday, and that Landry file any reply by 5 p.m. Tuesday.