Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals blocks new Biden administration vaccine mandates



More people are now lining up for Covid shots, as it soon might be required by their workplace. Photo by CDC on Unsplash.

Aiden Bonilla

The Louisiana-based federal court issued an order putting a temporary hold on the requirement to have all big companies (100 employees or more) get their workers vaccinated by Jan. 4, or to have each unvaccinated employee participate in weekly testing on Saturday.

In a statement released regarding the mandate, the court said they made their decision based off of “grave statutory and constitutional issues” they found within the directive, as they believe that the Department of Labor, or more specifically OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) doesn’t have the authority to enforce this mandate, as some argue that it oversteps the individual freedoms of citizens.

This comes after 27 states came together to file lawsuits in different circuit courts, mostly coming from the Southern states, such as Texas, Mississippi, Utah and Kentucky. In Kentucky, the state Attorney General Daniel Cameron pointed to the current optional vaccine option for jail employees, and how it has been successful in keeping the limited staff afloat. Currently the employees of Kentucky’s Department of Corrections must complete two weekly COVID tests if they are unvaccinated.

According to OSHA, the vaccine mandate affects roughly 84.2 million employees working for nearly 2 million private companies. Many of these working-class citizens send their kids to public school, and for the Louisville area, this means that their children reside within JCPS schools. Some have taken to the vaccine, while others still have hesitancy regarding the mandate.

“I didn’t know at first, but I’ve come around on the vaccine as more people have gotten it. I was worried about my kids, but it seems like the vaccine works just fine,” said Santi Schaefer, mother of Manual student Audessa Schaefer (10, HSU).

“I think it’s really good that people are getting the vaccine. At this rate it feels like the process of getting back to normal is closer than ever before,” said Dale Greer, father of Ally Greer (10, HSU).